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tfishop of Saint AgatJia, and Founder of the Congregation of the Most 
Holy Redeemer. 



R,E^T. IE] TJ Gr IE 3ST El G- IR ~L HUE 3VE , 

Priest of the Congregation of the Most Holy Redeemer. 

Volume XIII. 


The Sacrifice of Jesus Christ. The Ceremonies of the Mass. 

Preparation and Thanksgiving. The Mass and 

the Office that are hurriedly said. 




Memoriam gloriosi Congregationis SS. Redemptoris Fundatoris, centesimo, 
ab ejus obitu, adventante anno, pio et admodum opportune consilio recolere 
aggressus es, dum omnia ipsius opera anglice vertenda, et typis edenda curasti. 
Summus itaque Pontifex, cui turn S. Doctoris exaltatio, turn fidelium utilitas 
summopere cordi est libentissime excepit 9 volumina hue usque edita, quae Ei 
offerre voluisti. Ac dum meritas Tibi laudes de hac perutili tua cura prasbet, 
et gratias de filial! oblatione agit, Benedictionem, quam tuis obsequentissimis 
litteris petiisti, Emi quoque archiepiscopi Baltimorensis commendation! 
obsecundans, ex intimo corde impertiit. 

Haac ad Te deferens fausta cuncta ac felicia a Domino Tibi adprecor. 
Paternitatis Tuae, 


ROMAE, die 4 Junii, 1888. 



As the centenary of the death of the illustrious Founder of the Congrega 
tion of the Most Holy Redeemer drew near, you conceived the pious and 
appropriate plan of shedding a new lustre on his memory by translating all 
his works into English and publishing them. The Holy Father, therefore, 
who has at heart the spiritual advancement of the faithful, as well as the 
exaltation of the holy Doctor, has most graciously accepted the nine volumes 
thus far published, which you wished to present to him. While bestowing 
upon you well-deserved praise for your useful labor, and thanking you for 
the gift inspired by your filial love, he gives you from his heart the blessing 
which you humbly asked for in your letter, complying also with the request 
of the Most Rev. Archbishop of Baltimore. 

As the bearer of this, I wish you all happiness in the Lord. 
I am, Reverend Sir, 

Your obedient servant, 


ROME, June 4, 1888. 



The Sacrifice of Jesus Christ. The Ceremonies of the Mass. 

Preparation and Thanksgiving. The Mass and 

the Office that are hurriedly said. 



Doctor of the Church. 



Priest of the Congregation of the Most Holy Redeemer. 



Printers to the Holy Apostolic See. 



JAN 23 1953 


By virtue of the authority granted me by the Most Rev. Nicholas 
Mauron, Superior General of the Congregation of the Most Holy 
Redeemer, I hereby sanction the publication of the work entitled 
the * HOLY MASS/ which is Vol. XIII. of the new and complete 
edition in English of the works of Saint Alphonsus de Liguori, 
called "The Centenary Edition." 


Sup. Prov. Baltinwrcnsis. 


January 6, 1889. 

Copyright 1889, by EuA.sJ^ 




I. Contents of the Volume, n. 
II. Zeal of St. Alphonsus in regard to the celebration of 

Mass, 12. 

III. Mass considered in its relations to the life of Jesus Christ, 
to the Ecclesiastical year, and to the universal history 
of religion, 17. 



NOTICE, 2 * 

The Sacrifices of the Old Law were figures of the Sacrifice of 

Jesus Christ. 
Fulfilment of the prophetic figures. 

The preparation that is made at the foot of the altar; From 
the Introit to the Credo; The Offertory and the Preface; 
The Canon; The Pater noster; From the prayer Libera nos 
till the Communion; Thanksgiving. 





ALTAR, 8l 

i. Preparatory arts, Si. 2. The preparing of the Missal 
and the washing of hands, 82. 3- The preparing of the chal 
ice, 83. 4. The priest about to put on the vestments, 85. 5. 
He puts on the amice, 86. 6. The alb, 86. 7. The maniple, 88. 
S. The stole, 88. 9. The chasuble, 89 



ALTAR, 91 

i. The priest takes the chalice and proceeds to leave the 
sacristy, 91. 2. The priest goes from the sacristy to the altar, 
93. 3. The priest arrives at the altar, 95. 4. The priest as 
cends the steps of the altar, whereon he places the chalice, 96. 
5. The priest opens the Missal, then descends to the foot of 
the altar, 98. 


i. The priest, with his hands joined, makes an inclination or 
a genuflection, 101. 2. The priest makes the sign of the cross, 
102. 3. The priest recites the psalm Judica me, 104. 4. The 
priest recites the Confiteor and what follows it as far as the 
prayer Anfcr a nolris, 105. 

i. The priest says the prayer Oramus tc, and kisses the 
altar, 108. 2. The priest reads the Introit, and recites the 
Kyrie, 109. 3. The priest recites the Gloria in Excelsis, in. 


i. The priest salutes the people, saying Dominus vobiscum, 
114. 2. The priest recites the prayer, 115. 3. The prayer 
on the Ember days, 118. 4. The number of prayers, 119. 5 
The order of the prayers, 122. 


i. The priest reads the Epistle, the Gradual,* and what fol 
lows, 124. 2. The priest reads the Gospel, 125. 3. The 
priest recites the Credo, 127. 4. At which Masses should the 
Credo be said, 128. 

ACE, 131 

i. The priest recites the Offertory, 131. 2. The priest un 
covers the chalice and offers the bread, 132. 3. The priest 
puts wine and water into the chalice, and offers them, 135. 
4, The priest blesses the bread and the wine, 138. 5. The 
priest washes his hands, 139. 6. The priest says the Sttscipe 
Sancta Trinitas, the Orate fratrcs, and the Seer eta, 140. 7. 
The priest says the Preface, 142. 


i. The priest recites the prayer Tc igitnr, 145 ; 2. makes 
the Memento for the living, 147; finishes the prayer Memento, 



and says the following prayers : Communicants, Hanc igitur, 
and Quam oblation cm, 151; 3. consecrates the Host, 153; con 
secrates the chalice, 158. 


i. The priest says the prayers Unde ct Mentor es, Supra 

qua, wn&Supplices, 161; 2. makes the Memento for the Dead, 

162; 3. says the prayers Nobis quoque peeeatoribus and Per 

quern hcec omnia, 163. 


i. The priest recites the Pater noster, and begins the Libera 
nos qniesumus, 166; 2. continues until after the Agnus Dei, 
167; 3. receives the sacred Host, 170; 4. takes the precious 
blood; takes the ablutions, then covers the chalice with the veil 
and the burse, 175. 

OF MASS, 178 

i. The priest recites the Commtinio, the Post-eommunio, and 

the Ite Missa est, 178; 2. recites the prayer Plaeeat tibi , and 

gives the blessing, 179; 3. reads the last Gospel, 180; 4. 

leaves the altar and returns to the sacristy, 181. 


MASS, 183 

i. The manner of giving Communion with the Hosts con 
secrated at Mass, 184; 2. . . . with the Hosts kept in the 
tabernacle, 185; 3. remarks in regard to the Hosts that are 
not consumed, 186; 4. Communion is given during and even 
after Mass, 186; 5. manner of purifying the ciborium, 187; 6. 
Communion in Requiem Masses, 187. 


Manner of giving Communion, 189 





I. Notice of the Missal, 211. 
II. The altar and its ornaments, 211. 

8 Contents. 


i. The altar, 211. 2. The altar-cloths and the antipendium, 
212. 3. The cross and the candles, 213. 4. Altar-cards, 
bookstand, cruets, etc., 214. 

III. The chalice and its accessories, 215. 

i. The chalice and the paten, 215. 2. The purificator, pall, 
corporal, veil, and burse, 216. 

IV. The vestments, 216. 

i. Material and blessing, 216. 2. The color of the vest 
ments, 217. 
V. The matter and the form of the sacrament, 218. 

i. The bread, 218. 2. The wine, 220. 3. The sacra 
mental form, 221. 
VI. The disposition of the celebrant, 222. 

i. The intention, 222. 2. The disposition of the soul, 224. 
3. The disposition of the body, 225. 
VII. Accidents, 227. 

i. Profanation of the church, and imminent dangers, 227. 
2. Illness with which the celebrant may be seized, 228. 3. 
Hurtful things that may fall into the chalice or touch the 
Host, 229. 4. The Host that is broken or has fallen into the 
chalice, 230. 5. Precious blood frozen or spilt, 230. 6. 
Vomiting, and the Host that has fallen, 231. 
VIII. The place and the time in which one may celebrate Mass, 

232. i. The place, 232. 2. The time, 233. 
IX. Mass when celebrated in aliena ecclesia, 234. 
X. The server of Mass, 236. 

THE HONORARIUM OF MASSES, or the abuses to which it gives 
rise. Reply to an anonymous book entitled " Dissertation 

on the Honorarium of Masses," 238 

i. Ancient custom of public Masses with offerings, and 
origin of paid Masses, 238. 2. Abuses occasioned by the ad 
mission of Honoraria, and the means employed to remedy 
them, 240. 3. Various means devised to abolish the Hono 
rarium, and the remedy proposed by the anonymous author, 
245. 4. Examination of the author s views; first, as to pri 
vate Masses, 247. 5. The use of unleavened and of leavened 
bread, 250. 6. The origin of Honoraria, 251. 7. The 
value and application of the fruit of the Mass, 252. 8. The 
Masses specially applied, for which stipends are given, 255. 

9. The contracts made in regard to the Honorarium, 257. 

10. The abolition of Honoraria, and the re-establishent of 
Masses with offerings, 260. TI. The care of excluding un- 



worthy subjects from Holy Orders, 261. 12. Privileged 
altars, 262. 



Preparation for Mass, 267. 

Pneparatio ad Missam pro opportunitate Sacerdotis facicnda, 
267. Orationes pro opportunitate Sacerdotis ante Celebra- 
tionem et Communionem dicendae: Oratio Sancti Ambrosii 
Episcopi, 272; alia Oratio ante Missam, 277; Oratio Sancti 
Thornse Aquinatis, 278. Indulgenced prayers for priests- 
Ego volo celebrare Missam, 279; O felicem virum, beatum 
Joseph, 279; Virginum Gustos et Pater, Sancte Joseph, 280. 
Thanksgiving, 281. 

Gratiarum actio post Missam, 281. Orationes post Cele- 
brationem et Communionem dicendae: Oratio Sancti Thomze 
de Aquino, 283; Oratio Sancti Bonaventurae, 284; Rhythmus 
Sancti Thomae ad Sacram Eucharistiam, 285. Indulgenced 
prayers for priests: Obsecro te, dulcissime Domine Jesu 
Christe, 286; Anima Christi, 286; En ego, 287. 

Introduction, 291. 

Importance of the holy sacrifice, 291. The Mass that is said 
with but little respect and devotion, 294. Preparation for 
Mass, 299. Thanksgiving, 300. A word to those that abstain 
from saying Mass, through humility, 301. 

Preparation for Mass, 302. 

Considerations and affections for every day in the week, 302. 
Memento of the living, 305. Memento of the dead, 305, 
Forma infentionis, 306. 

Thanksgiving, 322. 

Affections for each day of the week, 322. Invocations: 
Anima Christi sandissima, 324. Various prayers: Precati- 
uncula Sacerdotibus quotidie legenda, tit in dies Deo fervent ins 
deserviant y 324; Ad Beatissimam Maria m precatio, 324; Ad 
vulnera Christi oratio, 325; Salutation fs ad omnia membra 
Christi, et sui ipsitts ad eum commendatio, 325. 


io Contents. 


Introduction. The respect with which one should say 
Mass, 339. 

Preparation for Mass. Considerations on the Passion of 
Jesus Christ, for every day of the week, 349. 

Thanksgiving. Affections for every day of the week, 356. 

Acts before Communion, 364. Acts after Communion, 369. 

Loving aspirations to the Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament, 374. 

Before Communion, 374. After Communion, 382. 

Aspirations of love to Jesus for meditation and holy Com 
munion, 392. 

Devout aspirations to be made before and after Communion, 
drawn from the manuscripts of St. Francis de Sales, 396. 

Before Communion, 396. After Communion and at the 
visit of the Blessed Sacrament, 397. Various prayers: Peti 
tions to Jesus Christ received in holy Communion, 404. 
Prayer of St. Bonaventure to the Most Holy Sacrament, 408. 
Prayer to the Most Blessed Virgin, to obtain the love of Jesus, 
and love towards her, 409. Litania Sandissimi Nominis 
Jesu, 409. Litania; Lauretance, B. M. V., 412. 


The holy sacrifice of the Mass hurriedly said 417 

Importance of the holy sacrifice, 417. 

Three things necessary to say Mass, 421. 

Preparation before Mass, 421. The respect with which 
Mass ought to be celebrated, 425. Thanksgiving after cele 
brating Mass, 441. 

The priest who abstains from saying Mass, 444. 
The Divine Office hurriedly said 446 

Importance of the Divine Office, 446. 

Necessity of reciting the Office well, 448. 

Requisite attention and devotion, 452. 

Lights and graces derived from the Office well recited, 459. 

Faith, 459. Confidence in God, 460. Love for God, 461. 
Acts of thanksgiving, of humility, of contrition, and of firm 
purpose of amendment, 462. Various prayers, 462. 

INDEX, 465 



Contents of this Volume. 

WE may call this volume the Manual of the Celebrant. It is 
a collection of little works that St. Alphonsus published suc 
cessively, in order to induce and aid priests to celebrate Mass 

This volume has four { a ; ts, namely : 

shows us in a few words the Sacrifice of our divine Saviour as 
prefigured in the Old Law, as accomplished on the cross, as 
continued on the altars, and as eternized in heaven. He then 
gives a short explanation of the prayers of Mass. We have 
added to it the account of a striking miracle which occurred in 
1772, near Naples, and which confirms the truth of the Sacra 
ment of the Altar. 

II. THE CEREMONIES OF THE MASS. It is a detailed ex 
planation of the Rubrics, at least as to what concerns the pri 
vate Mass. We have added thereto an Appendix, the substance 
of which is drawn from the Rubrics of the Missal and from the 
Moral Theology of our author. The Appendix is followed by a 
dissertation on the Honorarium of Masses, in which are briefly 
treated several interesting questions touching this subject. 

MASS. This is a large and varied collection, that offers us, in 
three parts, Considerations, Affections, Acts, Aspirations, and 
Prayers, for every day of the week ; every one may select there 
from what suits his devotion. 

This little work is in the main a pressing exhortation addressed 
to the ministers at the altar, to induce them to fulfil worthily 

1 2 Preface. 

the double function with which they are specially charged ; 
namely, to offer the holy Sacrifice and to celebrate the praises, 
of God in the name of the Church. We add, that this is a fit 
ting conclusion of the volume ; for the first part of it is, as it 
were, the peroration or natural conclusion, and the second may 
serve as a preface or as a transition to the following volume, 
which has as its object the Divine Office. 

Zeal of St. Alphonsus in Regard to the Celebration of Mass. 

These different writings give evidence of the zeal that ani 
mated our venerated author in regard to the divine Sacrifice 
on our altars. From his childhood he was admired for the 
tender devotion with which he attended Mass, received Com 
munion, or spent his time in adoring the Blessed Sacrament. 
This virtue only grew and became more perfect as he advanced 
in age. Even in the midst of the world, notwithstanding the 
occupations and the cares of the profession which he at first 
embraced, he went every day to visit his dear Lord exposed in 
one of the churches of Naples, and there on his knees and im 
movable, he spent long hours before the altar, contemplating 
the object of his affection with so humble and so recollected an 
attitude, that he appeared to be out of himself; all persons that 
saw him were profoundly edified. Such piety was to receive its 
reward ; for thus we read in his writings : " I feel myself bound, 
at least out of gratitude to my Jesns in the Holy Sacrament, to 
declare that by means of this devotion of visiting the Most 
Blessed Sacrament, which I practised, though with so much 
tepidity and in so imperfect a manner, I abandoned the world, 
in which, unfortunately, I lived until six-and-twenty years of 
age." 1 

Such were his dispositions in the world ; but one cannot 
imagine with what respect, with what care, with what dignity 
and with what fervor he celebrated the holy mysteries when he 
had the happiness of ascending the altar as a priest of the Most 
High, to consecrate and to hold in his hands the body and the 
blood of his well-beloved Jesus, and to be nourished every day 
with this heavenly food. Moreover, we can hardly picture to 
1 Visits* Introd. Vol. VI. page 117. 

//. Zeal of St. Alphohsus. 13 

ourselves what was his preparation for an act of which lie had 
so sublime an idea, and what was his conversation with his God 
living in him after Communion and during his long thanks 

He never failed to celebrate Mass every day, unless he was 
obliged by an absolute necessity to omit doing so; in this case 
it was to him a very great privation. One day, at Naples, while 
he was going to say Mass in a church that was far distant, he 
was seized with violent cramps in the stomach, so that he was 
not able to go any farther. His companion advised him to 
enter some house and to use a remedy ; but he answered : " I 
would rather walk ten more miles in order not to be deprived 
of the privilege of saying Mass." Fortunately he recovered 
from his Mlness, and was able to satisfy his devotion. 1 He had 
not the same consolation on another occasion, when he was at 
St. Agatha. Pressed by an accumulation of work, he labored 
every evening till a very advanced hour, and instead of taking 
supper he contented himself with taking a glass of water before 
going to bed. Once, however, he noticed that he had drunk 
the water a little after midnight. Being quite annoyed by this 
mishap, he at once sent for his servant and had him to bring him 
different watches to find out the exact time ; but finding that 
they all agreed, he had to make up his mind to do without say 
ing Mass as well as without receiving Communion, which was 
his resource whenever he was too ill to celebrate Mass. This 
accident was the cause of great affliction to him for several 
days. 2 

When he was at the altar one had more than one occasion to 
admire the marvellous effects of his fervor, without speaking of 
the trembling, the palpitation, the extraordinary movements that 
he felt. At Modugno, in February, 1745, he was seen after the 
Consecration raised in the air at the height of several feet. At 
another time, at Nocera, while he was reciting the psalm Judica 
me, he all of a sudden stopped. A Father who was serving his 
Mass, thinking that his memory had failed him, without looking 
at him suggested several times the words to him ; but all to no 
purpose : then raising his eyes, he saw the saint in an ecstasy. 3 

1 Villecourt, Vic dc St. Alph. 1. v. ch. vii. 

2 Tannoia and Villccoiirt, 1. iii. ch. viii. 

3 Panziili, Novciiar. scrni. 4. 

14 Preface. 

At the altar he resembled an angel rather than a human being ; 
after Communion his countenance appeared transformed, and 
all on fire. 1 

He made it a rule for the priests of his religious Institute to 
celebrate Mass every day, and to employ in saying it half an 
hour, after having devoutly prepared themselves ; they had 
then to make at least half an hour s thanksgiving. He per 
mitted the shortening of the time of thanksgiving only in case 
of necessity, as when many confessions had to be heard, and 
there were only a few confessors ; they had, however, to make at 
least a quarter of an hour s thanksgiving. He required that on 
retreat days, besides the half-hour s ordinary meditation, the 
proximate preparation for Mass should last at least half an 
hour, and the thanksgiving a whole hour. He enjoined upon 
the members of his Institute the exact observance of the cere 
monies of Mass, and in order that they might notfail in this, he 
wished them carefully to study the Rubrics ; for this purpose he 
established a special conference for the exercise of the Rubrics 
to be held on the first Monday of every month. 

Obliged by obedience to assume the office of bishop in 1762, 
when he was sixty-six years of age, and bowed down by the 
weight of innumerable labors and grave infirmities, he at once 
made exact inquiries regarding the manner in which the Holy 
Sacrifice of the Mass was celebrated in his diocese ; he himself 
examined the priests on the subject about which he had his 
serious doubts, and he did not hesitate to suspend from the 
celebration of Mass those whom he found deficient in this 
respect, until they had duly corrected themselves. He more 
over watched specially over the manner in which the churches 
were kept. In the course of his first pastoral visit he fell 
dangerously ill, received Extreme Unction, and hovered for 
several weeks between life and death. When he was hardly 
convalescent and still bedridden, an altar was erected in his 
room, where every day Mass was said, during which he com 
municated ; he would then send for the priests whom he wished 
to examine, and made them go through the exercises of the 
Rubrics in his presence. As for priests newly ordained, he did 
not grant them permission to say Mass till he became certain 

1 Tannoia and V^lleco^^rt , 1. iii. ch. xliv, 

//. Zeal of St. Alphonsns. 15 

that they were perfectly able to observe all the prescribed cere 
monies. He used to say: "When a man has once become a 
cripple there is no longer any remedy for him." He earnestly 
recommended to them never to neglect to make a suitable 
preparation and thanksgiving. " By the acts that precede the 
Mass," he said, "especially by the act of contrition, one empties 
and purifies the vessel of one s heart, and by those acts that 
follow Mass one fills this vessel with graces and heavenly 
gifts." Such conduct did not fail to produce happy effects in 
his diocese, the state of which left much to be desired ; thence 
forward priests were seen carefully applying themselves to the 
celebration of Mass in an irreproachable and edifying manner. 1 
In 1768, at the age of seventy-two, the holy bishop had to 
submit to a very severe trial. After a long and painful attack 
of rheumatism his neck became twisted and his head bent, so 
that his chin rested on his breast ; he could not hold up his 
head. He had to resign himself to pass in this state the rest of 
his life, which was yet to last nineteen years. He had already, 
in 1765, asked in vain Pope Clement XIII. to be freed from his 
charge ; he renewed his request, but without success. In the 
midst of all his sufferings he did not forget his flock. Having 
recovered little by little some strength, he again occupied him 
self with the affairs of his diocese and of his Congregation ; he 
published more important books, and even entered the pulpit to 
preach. He, however, believed that he was obliged to give up 
saying Mass, because he was not able to raise his head to take 
the precious blood: this was a source of the greatest grief to 

He had endured this privation for two years, when in a con 
versation with an Augustinian priest he began to speak of that 
which so sensibly afflicted his pious soul. The Father, how 
ever, remarked to him that on account of his infirmity he could 
be dispensed at the altar from performing certain ceremonies 
that were not essential, and that he could sit down in such a 
way as to make it convenient for him to take the precious 
blood. This advice was to him a ray of light that filled his 
heart with joy. He made the effort and succeeded. He im 
mediately gave information of his good fortune to Father Vil- 
lani, his Vicar-General in the government of his Institute and 
Tannoia and Villcconrt, 1. iii. ch. xiii., xiv., xxix. 

1 6 Preface. 

his spiritual director, by a letter dated August 27, 1770, in which 
he thus expresses himself: " To-day I again began to say Mass, 
and I hope to be able to continue. The whole difficulty was in 
taking the precious blood ; but a means of doing so with ease has 
been pointed out to me. Gloria Patri!" Writing to the same 
Father on the following September i, he says: " Thanks be to 
God ! I continue to say Mass, but with great difficulty ; when 
I finish Mass, I am nearly worn out and in great perspiration." 
He afterwards obtained permission from Rome to say everyday 
the Mass of the Blessed Virgin. 

While making his thanksgiving after Mass he heard another 
Mass, which was said by his chaplain or another priest. During 
the recitation of the Credo, at the words Et incarnates est he 
threw himself on his knees, holding himself profoundly inclined, 
notwithstanding the intense pain that he suffered ; he did the 
same thing at the Consecration, although each time great efforts 
had .to be made to raise him up (and put him back into his 
chair. 1 

He thus had the consolation of offering the Holy Sacrifice 
till his eighty-eighth year, either in his diocese or in the house of 
his Institute at Nocera, to which he retired in 1775, when Pope 
Pius VI. finally consented to relieve him of the burden of the 
episcopate. When at the altar, he was always most exact in 
observing all the Rubrics, even in making the genuflections down 
to the floor, although it was most difficult for him to do so, 
and each time great effort was required to raise him up. In 
1784, when Father Villani saw that the difficulty of saying 
Mass was becoming extreme, so much so that it was often feared 
that the saint would not be able to finish it, he begged him to 
abstain from celebrating Mass in future, telling him that such 
was the will of God. The words " the will of God " made the 
saint bow his head in submission. On November 25, which was 
on a Friday, he made to God this great and perpetual sacrifice. 
He had still three years to live, during which he finished his 
eternal crown in the midst of new sufferings and the greatest 
trials, both interior and exterior, which he bore till the end in 
perfect conformity to the holy will of his God. 

1 Tannoia and Villecoiirt, 1. iii ch. xliv. 
2 Villt court, 1. iv. ch. xxvii. 

11 f ass Considered in its Relations. \ 7 


Mass considered in its Relations to the Life of Jesus Christ, 
to the Ecclesiastical Year, and to the Universal History of 
Religion. 1 

The civil year is an abridgment of human life in which one 
naturally discerns four seasons ; the day is an abridgment of the 
year. So also, the ecclesiastical year, which begins with Ad 
vent, is an abridgment of the principal mysteries of religion ; and 
one may see in the ceremonies of the Mass an abridgment of 
the ecclesiastical year. 


The altar is erected, lit up by burning candles, adorned with 
verdure and flowers, and other decorations ; legions of angels 
range themselves around it : think of the creation of the world. 
Sacred relics are deposited there ; the saints descend from 
heaven and join the angels in order to adore our divine Saviour : 
think of the redemption of the world. 


The priest arrives at the altar and inclines profoundly: the 
first man, opening his eyes to the light, pays homage to his 
Creator. The priest ascends the altar : man takes possession of 
the empire that God has prepared for him. The priest goes to 
open the Missal, and returns to the middle of the altar, where 
he again inclines : man receives the law from God, and prom 
ises to obey him. The priest descends from the altar : fall of 
man. The priest humbles himself and strikes his breast, then 
he stands erect, and ascends again the altar while praying : man 
acknowledges his fault ; God has compassion on him, and prom 
ises him a Saviour; he is consoled, hopes, and prays while 
working. Let us remember our sins, let us humble ourselves, 
and let us pray with confidence. 


The patriarchs and the prophets sighed for the coming of the 
Messias during four thousand years; this is perfectly expressed 

1 By the Rev. Leop. J. Dujardin, C.SS.R. 

1 8 Preface. 

by the repetition of this ardent prayer. Let us enter into the 
same sentiments, and let us ask Jesus Christ to be born and to 
grow in our hearts, while saying with fervor : Kyrte eleison, etc. 


It was the angels that intoned this magnificent hymn over 
the cradle of the Saviour, and the poor shepherds of Bethlehem 
have had the happiness of hearing it. Let us rejoice with them, 
and repeat this beautiful prayer, while meditating on each word. 


Hidden life of Jesus Christ : the Son of God spends thirty 
years on earth in a most humble condition, in poverty, morti 
fication, labor, patience, sweetness, charity, abnegation, obedi 
ence, piety; and before entering public life, he retired to the 
desert to give himself up to fasting and to prayer during forty 
days. What an example! 


The Epistle is an instruction that our Lord addresses to us 
through the mouth of the prophets or apostles in order to dis 
pose us to hear him himself. Before appearing in the world, he 
announced himself through the prophets and his precursor, St. 
John the Baptist; and before going to preach the Gospel in any 
place, he made his apostles or disciples precede him in order to 
prepare men s minds to receive him. 


Here is our Lord going to instruct us by his own mouth. Let 
us rise in order to pay to him our respects, to show him that 
we are ready to obey him ; let us make the sign of the cross on 
our forehead, on our lips, and on our hearts, to consecrate to 
him our thoughts, our words, and our affections. 

8. CREDO. 

The Credo is an act of faith in the principal truths that God 
has revealed to his Church ; that which is recited at the Mass 
is the Symbol of the Councils of Nice and Constantinople. 
Let us say it with faith, love, and thanksgiving for the happiness 
that we have of being Catholics. 

Mass Considered in its Relations. 1 9 


The Offertory well represents the Lord s Supper, in which our 
Lord celebrated for the last time the sacrifice of the Old Law 
before substituting for it the sacrifice of the New Law, of which 
the Old Law was the figure. Let us offer with the priest the 
bread and the wine, destined to be changed into the body and 
blood of Jesus Christ. 

10. LAVABO. 

The priest washes his hands: our divine Master washes the 
feet of his disciples, to give us a grand example of humility and 
charity, and to teach us how pure we should be in order to 
participate in the adorable mystery that he is about to institute. 


The priest invites us to pray with more fervor in order that 
his Sacrifice, which is also ours, may be agreeable to God. Let 
us answer him with our whole heart: Suscipiat Domimis, etc. 


The Preface is the giving of thanks. Before consecrating 
bread and wine our divine Saviour raised his eyes towards 
heaven and gave thanks to his Father; this is the reason why 
the priest in finishing the prayer called Seer eta, raises his voice 
and invites us to thank God through Jesus Christ. 


Let us here call to mind that Mass has a twofold object: the 
sacrament of the Eucharist and the sacrifice of the cross which 
it represents and renews. When leaving the supper-room to 
go to the Garden of Olives, our Lord offered a fervent prayer 
for himself and for his Church ; this is also done by the priest 
at this moment : let us unite ourselves to him. 


While saying this prayer the priest holds his two hands ex 
tended over the host and the chalice in order to unite himself 
with the assistants and all the faithful, as in the sacrifices of the 
Old Law, to the divine Victim who is about to immolate him 
self for the salvation of all. Let each one unite his intention 

2O Preface. 

to that of the celebrant, while saying with him : Plane igitur, 


This is the great moment : the miracle of love is wrought; 
the minister of God receives and adores Jesus Christ in his 
hands. The elevation of the Host and of the Chalice represents 
the crucifixion, and the separation of the holy species represents 
the death of our Lord. Let us reanimate our faith ; let us 
prostrate ourselves, and adore. 


When our Lord drew his last breath on the cross, being en 
tirely consumed for our salvation, his holy soul descended in 
triumph to Limbo and Purgatory in order to console and de 
liver the just that were expecting his coming. Let us ask him 
to visit again at this moment the souls of the faithful departed, 
and let us think of those to whom we should more particularly 
give our assistance. 


Let us visit in spirit the tomb of our Saviour, and while con 
fiding in the merits of his life and death, recite with confidence 
the admirable prayer that he has taught us. 


While pronouncing these words the priest drops a part of the 
Host into the Chalice ; the two species thus reunited represent 
the Resurrection of Jesus Christ, and peace is announced to 
the world as it was announced at his birth. 


Preparation for Communion. If we have not the happiness 
of communicating sacramentally with the priest, let us not fail to 
make a spiritual Communion by uniting ourselves interiorly to 
Jesus Christ, by a sincere desire to receive him and by an act of 
fervent love : we should therefore always say the prayers before 
and after Communion, whether sacramental or spiritual. What 
hinders our union with God is sin : let us then, before all, beg 
the Victim, who is without stain, to free us from sin, while say 
ing Agnus Dei, etc., three times with the priest, and striking 
our breasts as if acknowledging ourselves guilty. 

Mass Considered in its Relations. 2 1 


Jesus is no longer on the altar ; he is in heaven, at the right- 
hand side of God his Father, and on earth in the hearts of those 
that have piously received him. After the Ascension, the chief 
disciples retired with the Blessed Virgin to the Cenaculum, to 
await there in recollection and prayer the divine Consoler whom 
Jesus Christ promised to his Church: let us imitate them. 


The Coming Down of the Holy G/iost.Let us ask him to 
penetrate our minds and our hearts, and to fill us with his gifts. 


The preaching of the Gospel throughout the world; per 
petual struggle of light with darkness, of truth with error, of 
good with evil. He that has fought well shall be crowned. 
Praise be Jesus Christ forever ! 

c Sacrifice of Jesus Christ, 



THE little work that we place at the beginning of this 
volume has already appeared in Volume VI. for ordi 
nary readers; but we believe it necessary to reproduce 
it in this volume, to which it properly belongs St. 
Alphonsus published it with The Victories of the Martyrs, 
in 1776, when he was eighty years old (Tannoiaand Ville- 
court, " Life of St. Alphonsus," 1. 4, ch. 3). We add an 
account of a great miracle that was wrought confirming 
the truth of the Blessed Sacrament. ED. 


I ACKNOWLEDGE to have drawn this little treatise on the 
Sacrifice of Jesus Christ from a work composed by a 
learned French author.* His work is complete and 
somewhat diffuse. I have composed and have published 
this abridgment because of the profit thafmay be de 
rived from it, not only by the priests who say Mass, but 
by the faithful who are present at it. 

My little work bears the title " The Sacrifice of Jesus 
Christ," for, although we distinguish by different names 
the Sacrifice of the Cross from the Sacrifice of the Altar, 

* This is, however, not a mere abridgment that St. Alphonsus 
gives us. As was usual with him, he appropriated the subject and 
treated it after his own manner by confining himself to quoting on 
some points the opinion of the French author. What he ascribes to 
the latter is found, nearly word for word, in the book entitled " L Idee 
du Sacerdoce et du Sacrifice de Jesus-Christ, par le R. P. De Condren, 
etc. Par un Pretre de 1 Oratoire." We doubt, however, whether 
this excellent work is that which our Saint had before him; for it ap 
pears to us that such a work cannot be called anonymous, though the 
learned Oratorian who published it in 1677 gives in the title-page only 
his title, and the initials of his name in his dedication, by signing 
himself P. Q. (This is Father Pasquier Quesnel, who later on became 
unfortunately so famous.) This doubt is confirmed by the remark 
that we add further on, page 36, and is changed almost into certainty 
in view of a passage that we read on page 46, and that we have not 
seen in the aforesaid work. We therefore believe that there exists 
a more recent work in which " L Idee" of Father De Condren is re 
produced in an incomplete manner and without the name of the 
author. ED. 

26 Notice. 

yet it is substantially the same sacrifice. In fact, we 
find at the altar the same victim and the same priest 
that one day offered himself on the cross. The Sacrifice 
of the Altar is a continuation or a renewal of the Sacri 
fice of the Cross, and differs from it only in the manner 
in which it is offered. 

lje Sacrifice of Sesus Christ, 

The Sacrifices of the Old Law were Figures of the Sacrifice of 
Jesus Christ. 

All the sacrifices of the old law were figures of the 
sacrifice of our divine Redeemer, and there were four 
kinds of these sacrifices; namely, the sacrifices of peace, 
of thanksgiving, of expiation, and of impetration. 

1. The sacrifices of peace were instituted to render to 
God the worship of adoration that is due to him as the 
sovereign master of all things. Of this kind were the 

2. The sacrifices of thanksgiving were destined to give 
thanks to the Lord for all his benefits. 

3. The sacrifices of expiation were established to obtain 
the pardon of sin. This kind of sacrifice was specially 
represented in the Feast of the Expiation by the emis 
sary-goat, 1 which, having been laden with all the sins of 
the people, was led forth out of the camp of the He 
brews, and afterwards abandoned in the desert to be 
there devoured by ferocious beasts. This sacrifice was 
the most expressive figure of the sacrifice of the cross. 
Jesus Christ was laden with all the sins of men, as Isaias 
had foretold: The Lord hath laid on him the iniquity of us 
all? He was afterwards ignominiously led forth from 
Jerusalem, whither the Apostle invites us to follow him 

1 Lev. xvi. 8. 

2 " Et posuit Dominus in eo iniquitatem omnium nostrum." fsa. 
liii. 6. 


28 The Sacrifice of Jesus Christ. 

by sharing in his opprobrium: Let us go forth therefore to 
him without the camp, bearing his reproach. 1 He was aban 
doned to ferocious beasts; that is to say, to the Gentiles, 
who crucified him. 

4. Finally, the sacrifices of impetration had for their 
object to obtain from God his aid and his grace. 

Now, all these sacrifices were abolished by the coming 
of the Redeemer, because only the sacrifice of Jesus 
Christ, which was a perfect sacrifice, while all the ancient 
sacrifices were imperfect, was sufficient to expiate all 
the sins, and merit for man every grace. This is the 
reason why the Son of God on entering the world said to 
his Father: Sacrifice and oblation Thou wouldst not; but a body 
Thou hast fitted to me. Holocausts for sin did not please Thee. 
Then said I: Behold, I come; in the head of the book it is 
written of me, that I should do Thy will, O God? Hence, by 
offering to God the sacrifice of Jesus Christ we can fulfil 
all our duties towards his supreme majesty, and provide 
for all our wants; and by this means we succeed in main 
taining a holy intercourse between God and ourselves. 

We must also know that the Old Law exacted five 
conditions in regard to the victims which were to be 
offered to God so as to be agreeable to him; namely, 
sanctification, oblation, immolation, consumption, and 

i. The victim had to be sanctified, or consecrated to 
God, so that there might not be offered to him anything 
that was not holy nor unworthy of his majesty. Hence, 
the animal destined for sacrifice had to be without stain, 
without defect; it was not to be blind, lame, weak, nor 

1 " Exeamus igitur ad eum extra castra, improperium ejus por- 
tantes." Heb. xiii. 13. 

2 " Hostiam et oblationem noluisti, corpus autem aptasti mihi; 
holocautomata pro peccato non tibi placuerunt; tune dixi: Ecce 
venio; in capite libri scriptum estde me, ut faciatn, Deus, voluntatem 
tuam." Il .b. x. 5. 

/. The Sacrifices of t lie Old Law. 29 

deformed, according to what was prescribed in the Book 
of Deuteronomy. 1 This condition indicated that such 
would be the Lamb of God, the victim promised for the 
salvation of the world; that is to say, tluit he would be 
holy, and exempt from every defect. We are thereby in 
structed that our prayers and our other good works are 
not worthy of being offered to God, or at least can never 
be fully agreeable to him, if they are in any way defec 
tive. Moreover, the animal thus sanctified could no longer 
be employed for any profane usage, and was regarded as 
a thing consecrated to God in such a manner that only a 
priest was permitted to touch it. This shows us how 
displeasing it is to God if persons consecrated to him 
busy themselves without real necessity with the things 
of the world, and thus live in distraction and in neglect 
of what concerns the glory of God. 

2. The victim had to be offered to God; this was done 
by certain words that the Lord himself had prescribed. 

3. It had to be immolated, or put to death; but this im 
molation was not always brought about by death, prop 
erly so called; for the sacrifice of the loaves of proposi 
tion, or show-bread, was accomplished, for example, 
without using iron or fire, but only by means of the 
natural heat of those who ate of them. 

4. The victim had to be consumed. This was done by fire. 
The sacrifice in which .the victim was entirely consumed 
by fire was called holocaust. The victim was thus en 
tirely annihilated in order to indicate by this destruction 
the unlimited power that God has over all his creatures, 
and that as he created them out of nothing, so he can 
reduce them to the nothingness from which they came. 
In fact, the principal end of the sacrifice is to acknowl 
edge God as a sovereign being, so superior to all things 
that everything before him is purely nothing; for all 

1 Deut. xv. 2, 

3O The Sacrifice of Jesiis Christ. 

things are nothing in presence of him who possesses all 
things in himself. The smoke that came from this sac 
rifice and arose in the air signified that God received it 
as a sweet odor, that is to say, with pleasure, as is 
written of the sacrifice of Noe : Noe . . . offered holo 
causts upon the altar; and the Lord smelled a sweet savor. 1 

5. All the people, together with the priest, had to be 
partakers of the victim. Hence, in the sacrifices, except 
ing the holocaust, the victim was divided into three 
parts, one part of which was destined for the priest, one 
for the people, and one for the fire. This last part was 
regarded as belonging to God, who by this means com 
municated in some manner with those who were par 
takers of the victim. 

These five conditions are found reunited in the sacri 
fice of the Paschal Lamb. The Lord had commanded 
Moses 2 that, on the tenth day of the month on which 
the Jews had been delivered from the slavery of Egypt, 
a lamb of one year and without blemish should be taken 
and separated from the flock; and thus were verified the 
conditions enumerated above, namely: i. The separation 
of the lamb signified that it was a victim consecrated to 
God; 2. This consecration was succeeded by the oblation, 
which took place in the Temple, where the lamb was pre 
sented; 3. On the fourteenth day of the month the 
immolation -took place, or the lamb was killed; 4. Then 
the lamb was roasted and divided among those present; 
and this was the partaking of it, or communion; 5. 
Finally, the lamb having been eaten, what remained of 
it was consumed by fire, and thus was the sacrifice con 

1 "Noe . . . obtulit holocausta super altare; odoratusque est Domi- 
nus odorem suavitatis." Gen. viii, 20. 
9 Exod. xii. 3. 

//. Fulfilment of the Figures. 3 1 


Fulfilment of the Prophetic Figures. 

The Sacrifice of our Lord, as we have said, was a per 
fect sacrifice, of which those sacrifices of the Old Law 
were but signs, imperfect figures, and what the Apostle 
calls weak and needy elements? The sacrifice offered by 
Jesus Christ really fulfilled all the conditions mentioned 
above. The first condition, which is the sanctification, or 
the consecration of the victim, was accomplished in the 
Incarnation of the Word by God the Father himself, as is 
mentioned in the Gospel of St. John: Whom the Father 
hath sanctified? Likewise, when announcing to the 
Blessed Virgin that she was chosen to be the Mother of 
the Son of God, the Angel said: The Holy which shall be 
born of thee shall be called the Son of God* Thus this divine 
victim, who was to be sacrificed for the salvation of the 
world, had already been sanctified by God, when he was 
born of Mary. From the first moment in which the 
Eternal Word took a human body, he was consecrated 
to God to be the victim of the great sacrifice that was 
to be accomplished on the Cross for the salvation of 
men. In regard to this our Lord said to his Father: 
But a body Thou hast fitted to me . . . that I should do Thy 
will, O God." 

The second condition, or the oblation, was also fulfilled 
at the moment of the Incarnation, when Jesus Christ 
voluntarily offered himself to atone for the sins of men. 
Knowing that divine justice could not be satisfied by all 

1 " Infirma et egena elementa." Gal. iv. 9. 
"Quern Pater sanctificavit." John, x. 36. 

3 "Quod nascetur ex te Sanctum, vocabitur Filius Dei." Luke, 
i- 35- 

"Corpus autem aptasti mihi, . . . ut faciam, Deus, voluntatem 
tuam." Heb. x. 5. 

32 The Sacrifice of Jesus Christ. 

the ancient sacrifices, nor by all the works of men, he 
offered himself to atone for all the sins of men, and hence 
he said to God, Sacrifices, and oblations, and holocausts for 
sin, Thou wouldst not. . . . Then said /, BeJwld, / come to do 
Thy will, O God. 1 Then the Apostle adds immediately, /;/ 
which will we are sanctified by the oblation of the body of 
Jesus Christ once.* This last text is remarkable. Sin had 
rendered all men unworthy of being offered to God and 
of being accepted by him, and, therefore, it was neces 
sary that Jesus Christ should offer himself for us in order 
to sanctify us by his grace, and to make us worthy of be 
ing accepted by God. And this offering which our Lord 
then made of himself did not limit itself to that moment, 
but it only then began; it always has continued since, 
and it will continue forever. It is true it will cease on 
earth at the time of Antichrist: the Sacrifice of the Mass 
is to be suspended for twelve hundred and ninety days; 
that is, for three years six months and a half, according 
to the prophecy of Daniel: And from the time when the con 
tinual sacrifice shall be taken away, and the abomination unto 
desolation shall be set up, there shall be a thousand two hundred 
ninety days? Yet the Sacrifice of Jesus Christ will never 
cease, since the Son of God will always continue to offer 
himself to his Father by an eternal sacrifice, for he him 
self is the priest and the victim, but an eternal victim 
and an eternal priest, not according to the order of Aaron, 
of which the priesthood and the sacrifice were tempo 
rary, imperfect, and inadequate to appease the anger of 
God against rebellious man, but according to the order 
of Melchisedech, as David predicted : Thou art a priest ac- 

1 " Quia hostias et oblationes et holocautomata noluisti . . . tune 
dixi : Ecce venio, ut faciam, Deus, voluntatem tuam." Heb. x. 8. 

2 " In qua voluntate sanctificati sumus per oblationem corporis 
Jesu Christi semel." Ibid. 10. 

3 " Et a tempore cum ablatum fuerit juge sacrificium, et posita 
fuerit abominatto in desolatione, dies mille ducenti nonaginta." 
Dan. xii. 1 1. 

//. Fulfilment of the Figures* 33 

cording to the order of Melchisedech* The priesthood of 
Jesus Christ will, therefore, be eternal, since, even after 
the end of the world, he will always continue to offer in 
heaven this same victim that he once offered on the 
Cross for the glory of God and for the salvation of man 

The third condition of the sacrifice namely, the im 
molation of the victim was evidently accomplished by 
the death of our Lord on the Cross. 

There remains for us yet to verify, in the Sacrifice of 
Jesus Christ, the two other conditions requisite to ren 
der a sacrifice perfect that is, the consumption of the vic 
tim and the partaking of it. 

It is then asked, What was this consumption of the 
victim in the Sacrifice of Jesus Christ? for although his 
body was by death separated from his holy soul, yet it 
was not consumed, nor destroyed. 

The anonymous author of whom I spoke in the begin 
ning, says that this fourth condition was fulfilled by the 
resurrection of our Lord ; for, then, his adorable body 
was divested of all that is terrestrial and mortal, and 
was clothed in divine glory. He adds that it is this 
glory that Jesus Christ asked of his Father before his 
death: And now glorify Thou me, O Father, with Thyself, 
with the glory which I had, before the world was, with Thee? 
Our Lord did not ask this glory for his divinity, since 
he possessed it from all eternity as being the Word 
equal to the Father; but he asked it for his humanity, 
and he obtained it at his resurrection, by which he 
entered in a certain manner into his divine glory. 

In speaking of the fifth condition, which is, the par 
taking of the victim, or Communion, the same author 

1 " Tu es Sacerdos in aeternum secundum ordinem Melchisedech." 
Ps. cix. 4. 

2 " Et nunc clarinca me tu, Pater, apud temetipsum, claritatr 
quam habui, priusquam mundus fieret, apud te." John, xvii. 5. 

34 The Sacrifice of Jesus Christ. 

says that it is also fulfilled in heaven, where all the 
blessed are partakers of the victim of the Sacrifice that 
Jesus Christ continues to offer to God while offering 

These two reflections, made by the author to explain 
the last two conditions of the Sacrifice of Jesus Christ, 
are wise and ingenious ; but for myself I think that the 
two conditions of which there is question, namely, the 
consumption and Communion, are manifestly fulfilled 
in the Sacrifice of the Altar, which, as has been declared 
by the Council of Trent, is the same as that of the Cross. 
In fact, the Sacrifice of the Mass, instituted by our Lord 
before his death, is a continuation of the Sacrifice of the 
Cross. Jesus Christ wished that the price of his blood, 
shed for the salvation of men, should be applied to us 
by the Sacrifice of the Altar ; in which the victim offered 
is the same, though it is there offered differently from 
what it is on the Cross, that is, without the shedding of 
blood. These are the words of the Council of Trent : 
* Although Christ our Lord was to offer himself once to 
his Eternal Father on the altar of the Cross by actually 
dying to obtain for us eternal redemption, yet as his 
priesthood was not to become extinct by his death, in 
order to leave his Church a visible sacrifice suited to the 
present condition of men, a sacrifice which might at the 
same time represent to us the bloody sacrifice con 
summated on the Cross, preserve the memory of it to the 
end of the world, and apply the salutary fruits of it for 
the remission of the sins which we daily commit ; at his 
last supper, on the very night on which he was betrayed, 
giving proof that he was established a priest forever 
according to the order of Melchisedech, he offered to 
God the Father his body and blood, under the appear 
ances of bread and wine, and, under the same symbols, 
gave them to the apostles, whom he constituted at the 
same time priests of the New Law. By these words, 

//. Fulfilment of the Figures. 35 

Do ye this in remembrance of me, he commissioned 
them and their successors in the priesthood to conse 
crate and offer his body and blood, as the Catholic 
Church has always understood and taught." 1 And 
further on the Council declares that the Lord, appeased 
by the oblation of the Sacrifice of Mass, grants us his 
graces and the remission of sins. It says : * It is one 
and the same victim ; the one that offers sacrifice is 
the same one who, after having sacrificed himself on 
the Cross, offers himself now by the ministry of the 
priest ; there is no difference except in the manner of 
offering." 2 

Jesus Christ has, then, paid the price of our redemp 
tion in the Sacrifice of the Cross. But he wishes that the 
fruit of the ransom given should be applied to us in the 
Sacrifice of Altar, being himself in both the chief sacri- 
ficer, who offers the same victim, namely, his own body 
and his own blood; with this difference only, that on the 
Cross his blood was shed, while it is not shed at the 

1 " Is igitur Deus et Dominus noster, etsi semel semetipsum in ara 
crucis, morte intercedente, Deo Patri oblaturus erat, ut aeternam illic 
redemptionem operaretur; quia tamen per mortem sacerdotium ejus 
exstinguendum non erat; in cosna novissima, qua nocte tradebatur, 
ut dilectae sponsae suae Ecclesiae visibile, sicut hominum natura exigit, 
relinqueret sacrificium, quo cruentum illud semel in cruce peragen- 
dum repraesentaretur, ejusque memoria in finem usque saeculi per- 
maneret, atque illius salutaris virtus in remissionem eorum, quse a 
nobis quotidie committuntur, peccatorum applicaretur, Sacerdotem 
secundum ordinem Melchisedech se in aeterniim constitutum decla- 
rans, corpus et sanguinem suum sub speciebus panis et vini Deo 
Patri obtulit; ac, sub earumdem rerum symbolis, Apostolis, quos tune 
Novi Testamenti Sacerdotes constituebat, ut sumerent, tradidit; et 
eisdem eorumque in sacerdotio successoribus, ut offerrent, praecepit 
per haec verba: Hoc facile in meam commemorationem; uti semper 
Catholica Ecclesia intellexit et docuit." Sess. 22, c. I. 

2 " Una enim eademque est Hostia, idem nunc offerens Sacerdotis 
ministerio, qui seipsum tune in cruce obtulic, sola offerendi ratione 
diversa." Sess. 22, c. 2. 

3 ^ The Sacrifice of Jesus Christ. 

altar. Hence the Roman catechism teaches that the 
Sacrifice of the Mass does not serve only to praise God 
and to thank him for the gifts that he has granted us, but 
it is a true propitiatory sacrifice, by which we obtain from 
the Lord pardon for our sins and the graces of which we 
stand in need. Because the fruit of the death of Jesus 
Christ is applied to us by the Sacrifice of the Altar, the 
Church expresses herself thus in her prayers: " As often 
as the memory of the Sacrifice of the Cross is celebrated, 
so often is accomplished the work of our redemption." 2 

Now, in the Mass we find not only the three essential 
parts of the Sacrifice of the Cross, that is, the sanctifica- 
tion and oblation of the victim, as also the immolation, 
which is here done mystically, the consecration of the body 
and that of the blood taking place separately, but we 
also find the two other parts of the sacrifice; namely, the 
destruction or consumption, communion or partaking, of 
the victim. The destruction or consumption is accom 
plished by the natural heat of those who receive the 
consecrated Host. Communion or partaking of the 
victim consists in the distribution of the Holy Eucharist 
to the faithful who approach the altar for this purpose. 

In this manner we clearly see realized in the Sacrifice 
of the Altar the five conditions required in the ancient 
sacrifices, all of which were signs and figures of the 
great Sacrifice of our Lord.* 

1 P. 2, c. 4, q. 62. 

" Quoties hujus Hostiae commemoratio celebratur, opus nostrae 
redemptionis exercetur." Dom. 9 p. Pent. 

* It seems to us that the two explanations which we have just 
read the explanation of the anonymous author and that of St. Al- 
phonsus about the consummation or the last two parts of the Sac 
rifice of Jesus Christ can be and should be admitted, should not ex 
clude each other, but should be united. It was necessary that this 
great sacrifice, the only real sacrifice worthy of God, should be con 
summated in heaven and on earth at the same time, to unite to God 

//. Fulfilment of the Figures. 37 

the body of Jesus Christ entirely; that is, the Church triumphant and 
the Church militant : in heaven, by the glorious union of Jesus Christ, 
of the Blessed Virgin, of the angels, of the saints with God, and 
among themselves in the bosom of God in which the sacrifice is per 
fect and eternal : on earth, by Holy Mass and Communion, in which 
all the faithful partake of the same victim under the Eucharistic veil. 
The body of the Redeemer, immolated on the Cross, had, therefore, 
to be transformed in a twofold manner ; namely, by the resurrection, 
for the consummation of the sacrifice in heavenly glory ; by the Eu 
charist, for the consummation of the sacrifice in earthly combats. 
This twofold consummation of the true sacrifice was typified in the cere 
monies of the Old Law: the burning of the victim represented heavenly 
Communion, and the eating of it represented earthly Communion. 
But in heaven, as in Holy Mass, we have not only consummation, but 
we have all the parts of the Sacrifice of the Cross and of the sacri 
fices of the Old Law. Hence, three kinds of sacrifices, or three 
degrees, are to be distinguished. In the Old Law there were figures 
without the reality ; in the New Law we have the reality under the 
figures or appearances; in glory we have the reality exposed and un 
veiled. Such is, briefly, the thought of Pere De Condren, wisely de 
veloped by him who published it. Such is, also, without doubt, the 
thought of St. Alphonsus; for otherwise we should not understand 
what he says on page 32, where he explains the text taken from 
Daniel. ED. 

0f]ort Calcination of tl)e JJrajiers of JHass. 

Mass is rightly divided into six parts. The first part 
is the preparation for the sacrifice ; and this is made at 
the foot of the altar. The second part extends from the 
Introit to the Credo, inclusively and was formerly called 
the Mass of the Catechumens, who had to leave the church 
after the Credo. The third part contains the Offertory 
and the Preface. The fourth part comprises the Canon 
with the Pater Noster ; for the Canon in olden times 
finished with the Pater Noster, as a learned author con 
cludes from a passage in the writings of St. Gregory 
the Great. 1 The fifth part begins with the prayer Libera 
nos, quasumus, Domine (" Deliver us, O Lord, we beseech 
Thee"), which is a preparation for Communion, and in 
cludes Communion. The sixth and last part comprises 
under the form of thanksgiving the rest of the Mass. 

The Preparation that is made at the Foot of the Altar. 

/;/ nomine Patris et Filii et Spiritus Sancti. Amen (* In 
the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy 
Ghost. Amen"). 

In order to sacrifice a victim one must have the power 
over its life and death ; but as God only has the power 
over the life of his incarnate Son, who is the victim of 
the Sacrifice of the Mass, the priest needs divine author 
ity in order to be able to offer Jesus Christ to his heavenly 
Father. Yet as he is invested with the authority that 

1 Epist. 1. 7, ind. 2, ep. 63. 

Short Explanation of the Prayers of Mass. 39 

belongs to the priesthood, he says, in union with Jesus 
Christ, who is the principal one that offers that sacrifice, 
In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the 
Holy Ghost ; thus declaring that he offers the sacrifice 
by the authority of the three Persons. 

The priest afterwards recites the antiphon Introibo ad 
altare Dei (" I will go unto the altar of God "), and the 
psalm Judica me Deus ("Judge me, O God"). He im 
plores the help of God against the enemies who are laying 
snares for him. Then expressing the pain that he feels 
of seeing himself, as it were, rejected by the Lord, he 
begs him to assist him with his light, and to console 
him with the graces that he promised by leading him 
into his tabernacle. Finally, he reproaches himself for 
indulging in fear, for why should he be troubled when 
he has with him his God in whom he should confide ? 

Innocent III. 1 attests that the recitation before Mass of 
the psalm Judica me was the custom of his time, that is, 
in the twelfth century ; and Cardinal Lambertini, after 
wards Benedict XIV., 2 assures us that it was recited be 
fore the eighth century. The psalm is concluded with 
the Gloria Patri. It was Pope St. Damasus who ordained 
that each psalm should be concluded in this manner, It 
is, however, believed that the Gloria Patri was intro 
duced by the Council of Nice, or, as we are told by Ba- 
ronius 3 and St. Basil, even by the Apostles, the Council 
of Nice having added only these words, Sicut erat, etc. 

Adjutorium nostrum in nomine Domini ("Our help is in 
the name of the Lord"). Affrighted by the grandeur 
of the act he is about to perform, and by the thought of 
his unworthiness, the priest asks God s help in the name 
of Jesus Christ ; and acknowledging himself guilty, he 
accuses himself of his sins, not only before God, but 
before the Blessed Virgin and all the saints, who on the 

1 De Alt. Myst. \. 2, c. 13. 9 De Miss* S. 1. 2, c. 3. 8 Ann. 325. 

40 Short Explanation of the Prayers of Mass. 

last day, with Jesus Christ, will pronounce judgment 
upon sinners. 

Deus, tu conversus, vivificabis nos ("Thou, O Lord," says 
the priest, " wilt turn and bring us to life"). The sinner 
remains in death so long as God in his goodness does 
not come to restore to him the life of grace. Then he im 
plores anew the divine mercy : Ostende nobis, Domine, mise- 
ricordiam tuam (" Show us, O Lord, Thy mercy") ; and 
supplicates the Lord to hear him : Domine, exaudi ora- 
tionem meam (" O Lord, hear my prayer"). 

Before leaving the people to go up to the altar, the 
priest says to them, Dominus vobiscum ("The Lord be 
with you "). By these words he wishes and asks that 
Jesus Christ may grant to the people as well as to him 
self the effects of the prayers that he has said ; and the 
server expresses to him the same wish when answering 
for all the people : Ei civm spiritu tuo ("And with Thy 
spirit"). These reciprocal wishes indicate the union of 
faith in Jesus Christ that exists between the priest and 
the people. 

Aufer a nobis, etc. (" Take away from us our iniquities, 
etc."). In going up the steps of the altar, the priest begs 
the Lord to deliver him from all iniquities, in order that 
he may approach the Holy of Holies with a pure heart ; 
that is to say, in order that he may worthily offer up the 
great sacrifice. 

Oramus te, Domine, per merita Sanctorum tuorum, etc. 
("We beseech Thee, O Lord, by the merits of Thy 
saints, etc."). Having reached the altar, he kisses it, to 
unite himself to Jesus Christ, represented by the altar ; 
and, through the merits of the holy martyrs whose relics 
are therein enclosed, he conjures our Lord to deign to 
pardon him all his sins. 

From the first ages the Church was accustomed to 
offer up the Eucharistic sacrific__on the tombs of the 
martyrs who had sacrificed U^Lli^)for God, and who 

Short Explanation of the Prayers of Mass. 4 1 

for this reason have always been particularly honored in 
the Church. During the first period of the Church there 
were no other festivals than those of the mysteries of 
Jesus Christ, those of the Blessed Virgin, and the anni 
versaries of the martyrs. However, it is not to the saints, 
but only to God that altars are erected, " and," as St. 
Augustine says, " we have not erected an altar to the 
martyr, Stephen, but with the relics of the martyr Ste 
phen we have erected an altar to God." 

From the Introit to the Credo. 

It is usually in the Introit that the Church proposes 
the subject of the feast that is celebrated. Mention is 
therein made of some divine mystery, of the Blessed 
Virgin, or of some other saint whom the Church honors 
on that day, so that we simply render this honor to the 
saint, since the sacrifice, as we have said, is offered only 
to God. It is asserted that the author of the Introit is 
St. Gregory the Great, as may be seen in the works of 
Benedict XIV. 3 

Kyrie, eleison ; Christe, eleison. These are Greek words 
that mean "Lord, or Christ, have mercy." This prayer 
is addressed three times to the Father, three times to 
the Son, and three times to the Holy Ghost. Durand 9 
says that Mass was begun to be said in Greek in the 
Oriental Church at the time of the Emperor Adrian I., 
about the year 140. Pope St. Sylvester ordered that, 
after the example of the Greeks, the Kyrie eleison should 
be said in the Latin Church. According to Cardinal 
Bellarmine 4 this custom was introduced into Italy about 

1 " Nos, in isto loco, non aram fecimus Stephano, sed de reliquiis 
Stephani aram Deo." Scrm. 318, R. B. 

2 De Misses S. 1. 2, c. 4. 3 Ration. 1. 4, c. I. 
4 De Miss. 1. 2, c. 16. 

42 Short Explanation of the Prayers of Mass. 

a hundred and fifty years before St. Gregory. Thereby 
is shown the union that exists between the Greek and 
the Latin Church. 

Gloria in excelsis Deo, etc. (" Glory be to God on high, 
etc."). This canticle or prayer is formed of the words 
that the celestial choirs used when the Angel came to 
announce to the shepherds the birth of the Saviour ; 
" Glory to God in the highest : and on earth peace to 
men of good will." The remaining words were added 
by the Church. In it God is thanked for his glory, be 
cause God has used our salvation for his glory by saving 
us through Jesus Christ, who, in offering himself as a 
sacrifice to his Father, has procured salvation for men, 
and has given, at the same time, infinite glory to God. 
Then the Church, addressing herself to Jesus Christ, 
asks him by the merits of his sacrifice to have pity on 
us; and she concludes by proclaiming him: Quoniam 
tu solus Sanctus, tu solus Dominus, tu solus Altissimus, 
Jesu Christe, cum Sancto Spiritu in gloria Dei Patris. 
Amen ("For Thou only art holy; Thou only art Lord; 
Thou only, O Jesus Christ, art Most High in the glory 
of God the Father. Amen"). For our Saviour, who 
sacrifices himself as a victim, is at the same time God, 
equal to Him to whom the sacrifice is offered. 

Then follows the prayer or Collect, thus called because 
the priest, performing the office of mediator between 
God and men, collects all the prayers of the people, and 
presents them to God. The Collect is said in a suppli 
ant manner, with outstretched and raised hands. In 
these prayers are asked of God the graces that have 
reference to the mystery of the day: for example, at 
Easter, the grace to rise with Jesus Christ, and at the 
Ascension to dwell with him in spirit in heaven; or we 
ask for those graces that we wish to obtain through the 

1 Luke, ii. 14. 

SJiort Explanation of the Prayers of Mass. 43 

intercession of the saint whose feast we are celebrating. 
But all these prayers are concluded with the name of 
Jesus Christ : Per Dominum nostrum Jesum Christum 
("Through our Lord Jesus Christ"). Because all the 
graces that we obtain are given to us chiefly in view of 
the merits of Jesus Christ. It is not true, as the innova 
tors say, that we offer the Sacrifice of the Altar to the 
saints. It is altogether false; for we know very well 
that the sacrifice, being a cult or worship that is due to 
the sovereign Lord of the universe, can be offered only 
to God; and if at the Mass we make mention of the 
saints, we do so only because of the favors that they 
have received from God, to whom they acknowledge 
they are indebted for all the happiness that they pos 

Here follow the Epistle and the Gospel. While list 
ening to the reading of the Epistle, we must hear it as if 
it is God himself who speaks by the mouth of his proph 
ets and apostles. 

The Epistle is followed by the Gradual, which, accord 
ing to Bellarmin, was sung in former times while the 
deacon ascended the steps of the ambo an elevated pul 
pit to read the Gospel. The Gradual was followed by 
the Alleluia, a Hebrew word that signifies /Va/V* the LorU. 
But in Lent the Alleluia, which expresses joy, is replaced 
by the Tract, which Abbot Rupert calls the lamentation 
of penitents (Pccnitentium lamentum). 

The priest then leaving the left side of the altar, which 
represents the Jewish people, passes to the right side, 
which represents the Gentiles, who accepted the Gospel 
that was rejected by the Jews. We should listen to the 
Gospel as if we heard the words of our divine Saviour 
instructing us himself, and we should at the same time 
ask him for the necessary help to put in practice what 
he teaches. It is an ancient custom to stand during the 
reading of the Gospel, to show that we are ready to fol- 

44 Short Explanation of the Prayers of Mass. 

low the precepts and counsels that our Lord points out 
to us. 

Credo (" I believe"). While the priest is reciting the 
symbol, we should renew our faith in all the mysteries 
and all the dogmas that the Church teaches. By the 
symbol was formerly understood a military sign, a mark by 
which many recognize one another, and are distinguished 
from one another: this at present distinguishes believers 
from unbelievers. Benedict XIV. 1 tells us that at Rome 
the recitation of the symbol during Mass was begun only 
in the eleventh century. 

The Offertory and the Preface. 

The Offertory embraces everything from the Dominus 
vobiscum till the Preface. In offering the bread and 
wine the priest calls them the immaculate Host, the Chalice 
of salvation. We should not be astonished at this; for all 
the prayers and all the ceremonies before and after the 
consecration have reference to the divine Victim. It is 
at the moment of consecration that the Victim presents 
lymself to God, that he offers himself to him, and that 
the sacrifice is offered; but as these different acts cannot 
be explained at the same time, they are explained one 
after the other. The priest then offers by anticipation 
the bread prepared for the sacrifice, and while saying, 
Suscipe, sancte Pater, hanc immaculatam Hostiam, etc. 
("Accept, O holy Father, this immaculate Host, etc."); 
and he offers the wine as if it had already been conse 
crated, by saying, Offerimus tibi, Domine, Calicem salu- 
taris, etc. (" We offer unto Thee, O Lord, the Chalice of 
salvation, etc.") ; because this wine, being afterwards 
changed into the blood of Jesus Christ, becomes our sal- 

1 De Missce S. 1. 2, c. 8. 

Short Explanation of the Prayers of Mass. 45 

vation. St. Augustine says that as at the Eucharistic 
Table our Saviour offers us to eat and to drink his body 
and his blood, we should also offer to him our body and 
our blood by giving ourselves entirely to him, being 
ready to sacrifice our life for his glory, should it be neces 
sary. These are the beautiful words of the holy Doctor: 
" You know what this banquet is, and what nourishment 
is offered you at this table. Since Jesus Christ gives 
entirely his body and his blood, let no one approach 
without giving himself entirely to the Lord." 

A little- water is mixed with the wine to represent the 
mixture or the union that takes place in the Incarnation 
of the Word between the divinity and the humanity, and 
also to represent the intimate union that is effected in the 
sacramental Communion between Jesus Christ and the 
person who communicates a union which St. Augus 
tine calls Mixtura Dei et hominis ("A mixture of God 
and of man"), Hence the priest, in the prayer which he 
recites while mixing the water with the wine, beseeches 
God to grant that, as his divine Son became partaker of 
our humanity, we may be made partakers of his divinity. 
The Council of Trent declares that this mingling of water 
and of wine in the chalice is prescribed: " The holy 
Synod admonishes that it is enjoined on the priests by 
the Church that they should mix water with the wine 
that is to be offered in the chalice, as it is believed that 
the Lord has done the same thing." 2 However, this is 
only an ecclesiastical, not a divine precept. 

Offerimus tibi, Domine, Calicem salutaris, etc. (" We offer 
unto Thee, O Lord, the Chalice of salvation, etc."). The 
chalice of salvation is offered to the Lord, so that it may 

1 " Mensa quae sit, nostis; ibi est corpus et sanguis Christi; qui ac- 
cedit ad talem mensam, praeparet talia." In Jo. tr. 47. 

2 " Monet sancta Synodus praeceptum esse ab Ecclesia Sacerdoti- 
bus, ut aquam vino in calice offerendo miscerent; quod Christum Do 
minum ita fecisse credatur." Stss. 22 c. 7. 

46 Short Explanation of the Prayers of Mass. 

arise in his divine presence as an agreeable odor, for our 
salvation and for the salvation of the whole world. 
Cardinal Bona, 1 in his Liturgy, assures us that neither 
in the Sacramentarium of St. Gregory, nor in other authors, 
is any prayer found for the offering of the bread and 
of the wine; however, the same Cardinal says that in the 
ancient Liturgy which he caused to be published we 
find the prayers that were recited by the clergy as well 
as by the faithful when the latter presented to the priest 
their offerings. Moreover, our French author says that 
the prayers recited at present by the priest at the obla 
tion of the bread and of the wine have reference to the 
offerings which the faithful formerly made, not at the 
altar, but at the balustrade of the choir. 

In spiritu humilitatis et in aninw contrito suscipiamur a te y 
DominC) etc. (" In the spirit of humility, and with a con 
trite heart, let us be received by Thee, O Lord, etc."). 
The priest presents himself before our Lord with an 
humble and a contrite heart, and begs him to bless the 
great sacrifice that is about to be offered: Veni, Sanctifi- 
cator, etc. ("Come, O Sanctifier, etc."). 

Then he goes to wash his hands, out of respect for this 
divine sacrifice, while reciting the psalm Lavabo inter in- 
nocentes manus vieas, etc. (" I wjll wash my hands among 
the innocent, etc."). 

Suscipe, Sancta Trinitas, etc. (" Receive, O Holy Trinity, 
etc."). By this prayer the priest offers to God Jesus 
Christ as a victim already immolated by his death on the 
Cross. Heretics calumniate us when they affirm that we 
offer to God two different sacrifices, namely, the sacrifice 
of the Cross and that of the altar. We reply to them that 
there are not two sacrifices, since, as we have already 
explained elsewhere, the sacrifice of the altar is a 
memorial of the sacrifice of the Cross; it is really the 

1 Lib. 2, c. 9, 2. 

Short Explanation of the Prayers of Mass. 47 

same sacrifice as that of the Cross, Jesus Christ being 
there the principal offerer and the victim that is offered. 

Orate, fratrts, etc. (" Brethren, pray, etc."). By these 
words the priest exhorts the people to supplicate the 
Lord to receive this sacrifice for the glory of his name 
and the good of the faithful. The server then answers 
in the name of the people by praying to God to accept 
this sacrifice: Suscipiat Dominus Sacrificium de manibus 
tuis, etc. (" May the Lord receive this sacrifice from thy 
hands, etc."). 

Then follows the Secret, a prayer that refers to the 
offerings made by the people, namely, of the bread and 
wine that are to be changed into the body and the blood 
of Jesus Christ. The Church asks the Lord to bless 
them and to render them profitable, not only to those 
who present them, but to all the faithful, just as may be 
seen in the Secret of the fifth Sunday after Pentecost: 
"Mercifully receive, O Lord, these offerings of thy ser 
vants ; that what each hath offered to the honor of thy 
name, may avail to the salvation of all." * Thus the 
Offertory is concluded. 

Before passing to the Canon, the priest reads the Pref 
ace, in which he exhorts the faithful to raise their hearts 
to God : Sursum corda (" Lift up your hearts"). The 
people answer that they have already done so: Habemus 
ad Dominum (" We have lifted them to the Lord "). And 
the priest continues by inviting them to unite with him 
in thanking the Lord: Gratias agamus Domino Deo nostro 
(" Let us give thanks to our Lord God "). He after 
wards says that it is just and salutary to render thanks 
through Jesus Christ, who alone can worthily give 
thanks for the eternal salvation and for so many benefits 
granted to men and also to angels, who also give thanKS 
to God through Jesus Christ for all the gifts that they 

1 " Domine, has oblationes benignus assume, ut, quod singuli obtu- 
lerunt, cunctis proficiat." 

48 Short Explanation of the Prayers of Mass. 

have received. The priest entreats the Lord to accept 
our prayers united with those of the angels, who cele 
brate his glory by repeating without ceasing the can 
ticle, Sanctus, Sanctus, Sanctus, Dominus Deus Sabaoth ! 
("Holy, Holy, Holy, Lord God of Hosts!"); and he 
concludes by repeating the words used by the Jewish 
people in their acclamations at the triumphant entry of 
Jesus into Jerusalem: Bencdictus, qui venit in nomine 
Domini! Hosanna i excclsis ! 2 ("Blessed is he that 
cometh in the name of the Lord ! Hosanna in the 
highest ! ") 

The Canon. 

Te igitur, dementissime Pater, etc. (" We- therefore hum 
bly pray and beseech Thee, most merciful Father, etc."). 
Here begins what we call the Canon of the Mass, which 
the Council of Trent declares to be free from every 
error, 3 since it is composed of the very words of our 
Lord, of the traditions of the apostles, and of pious regu 
lations of the Holy See. 4 The Canon is very ancient: it 
was already in use in the fourth century, according to the 
testimony of St. Ambrose. 5 The priest first prays to his 
heavenly Father in the name of the whole Church, and 
through the merits of Jesus Christ, to accept and to bless 
the offerings that are made to him, and that are called 
gifts without spot: Hcec dona, Ji&c munera, hac sancta sacri- 
ficia illibata (" These gifts, these presents, these holy un 
spotted sacrifices"). These words apply not only to the 
bread and the wine that have been offered, but refer by 

1 Isa. vi. 3. 2 Matt. xxi. 9. 

3 " Ab omni errore purum." 

4 " Is enim constat, cum ex ipsis Domini verbis, turn ex Apostolo 
rum traditionibus, ac Sanctorum quoque Pontificum piis institution! 

bus." Se SS. 22, C. 4. 

* De Sacr. 1. 4, c. 4. 

Short Explanation of the Prayers of Mass. 49 

anticipation to the body and the blood of Jesus Christ, 
into which the bread and the wine are soon to be 
changed; hence they are called unspotted sacrifices 
Innocent III. refers these last words to the purity of the 
heart and of the body with which the priest should cele 
brate Mass: "We call them by this name because of the 
purity of heart and of body with which the priest should 
offer them." * But this is rather a spiritual and mystical 
reflection, the proper explanation is that which precedes 
it above. 

The Holy Sacrifice is, before all, offered for the 
Catholic Church by praying to God that he may pre 
serve her in peace, may defend her, maintain her in 
unity, and govern her through the ministry of the pas 
tors, by communicating to them his Holy Spirit. It 
must be observed that the prayers of the Church, during 
the Holy Sacrifice, should be addressed to God the 
Father, as was ordained by the Third Council of Carth 
age: " During the August Function the prayer should be 
addressed to God the Father." <J It does not follow that 
the other divine Persons should be excluded from these 
prayers; but they are considered together in the Person 
of the Father, their first principle, and this is the reason 
why the Church is accustomed to pray to the Father, 
with the Son, in the Holy Ghost. 

At the first Memento, the priest recommends, at first, 
all those persons for whom he wishes most especially to 
pray; then he recommends all those who, happening to 
be present, offer with him the Holy Sacrifice; finally, he 
recommends all their relatives and friends. He says: 
i. Pro quibus tibi off erimus, vet qui tibi off e runt (" For whom 
we offer, or who offer up to Thee"). It must be re 
marked that the disjunctive particle vel, "or," is some- 

1 " Illibata, quae sine macula cordis et corporis oportet offerri." 
De Alt. My st. \. 3, c. 3. 

2 " Cum altari assistitur, semper ad Patrem dirigatur oratio." c. 23. 

5O Short Explanation of the Prayers of Mass. 

times conjunctive, and that it is probable that it is here 
taken in this last sense according to St. Gregory, as we 
are told, by Benedict XIV. Moreover, it must be ob 
served that there is a great difference between sacrificing 
and offering: to the priest alone belongs the right to 
sacrifice, whilst all those who are present may offer the 
sacrifice. 2. Quorum tibi fides cognita est, et nota devotio 
("Whose faith is known, and devotion apparent unto 
Thee"). By these words we are to understand that in 
order to participate in the fruit of the sacrifice we must 
have faith and devotion, which spring from charity. 
3. Pro redemptione animarum suarum (" For the redemption 
of their souls"). The first effect of the sacrifice of the 
Cross, which is applied to us by the sacrifice of the altar, 
is to become free from the power of the devil. 4. Pro 
spe salutis ft incolumitatis suce (" For the hope of their 
safety and salvation"). These words comprise all the 
spiritual and temporal graces that God grants to us by 
virtue of this sacrifice, through which alone we can 
render to God the thanks that we owe him. 

C o m muni c antes et memoriam venerantes, etc. (* Communi 
cating with the saints and honoring the memory, etc."). 
This prayer is said in order to enter into communion 
with the Church triumphant. Thereby we honor, in the 
first place, the memory of the Mother of God, then that 
of the apostles, then that of the martyrs and of all the 
other saints, through the merits and the intercession of 
whom we beg our Lord s protection in all our necessi 
ties. We who are travellers upon earth form only one 
body with the saints who are in heaven, and united 
with them in the same spirit, we offer to God the same 

Hanc igitur oblationem, etc. (" We therefore beseech 
Thee, O Lord, graciously to accept this oblation, etc."). 
The priest spreads his hands over the bread and the 
wine, and, through the merits of Jesus Christ, who re- 

Short Explanation of the Prayers of Mass. 5 1 

deemed us from the power of the devil, he prays to the 
Eternal Father favorably to accept this offering that his 
servants and his whole family make to him. He also 
asks God to help us to enjoy peace in this life, to pre 
serve us from hell, and to admit us among the number 
of the elect: Et in elector urn tuorum jubeas grege numerari 
("And number us in the flock of Thine elect"). Estius 
observes that by these last words we do not ask of God 
predestination, as if God could change his eternal de 
crees, but we ask of him the effects of predestination, 
that he may draw us to himself and conduct us to eter 
nal happiness. 1 In the Old Law he who offered sacrifice 
placed his hands on the victim to signify that just as 
this animal was soon to lose its life by immolation, so 
he also offered up his own life to God. It is with the 
same spirit of sacrifice that every priest should offer 
himself to God, when he spreads his hands over the host 
and the chalice.* 

Quam oblationem tu, Deus in omnibus, qticzsumus, bene- 
dictam, adscriptam, ratam, rationabilem, acceptabilemque 
facer e digneris ; ut nobis corpus et sanguis fiat dilectissimi 
Filii tui Domini nostri Jesu Christi (" Which obla 
tion do Thou, O God, vouchsafe in all respects to 
make blessed, approved, ratified, reasonable, and ac 
ceptable, that it may become to us the body and blood 
of Thy most beloved Son, Jesus Christ our Lord "). 
In this prayer the priest asks God to cause this oblation 
to be blessed (ptnedictam\ that by this blessing the bread 
and the wine may be changed into the body and the blood 

1 "Non petimus immutari aeternum Dei propositum, sed causam pro 
effectu ponimus, orantes ut Deus nos ad se convertat atque ad aeter- 
nam felicitatem perducat; qui sunt effectus praedestinationis." In 
Sent. 1. i, d. 40, 22. 

* Such should also be, in this grave ceremony, the sentiments of all 
the faithful, who, we should not forget, offer the holy sacrifice jointly 
with the priest. ED. 

52 Short Explanation of the Prayers of Mass. 

of Jesus Christ; that it may be admitted (adscriptam), 
that is, substracted from all profane usage and wholly 
consecrated to the divine Majesty; ratified (ratam), that 
is, approved as a perfect sacrifice ; reasonable or rational 
(ratio nabileni}, this includes an allusion to a passage 
in the Epistle to the Romans, in which St. Paul says : " I 
beseech you . . that you present your bodies a living 
sacrifice, holy, pleasing unto God, your reasonable 
service;" 1 acceptable (acceptabiltm), that is, altogether 
agreeable and worthy of being received, differently from 
the victims and the oblations of the Hebrew people, 
which were not sufficient to appease the divine justice 
incensed against sinners ; and, finally, Ut nobis corpus 
et sanguis fiat dilectissimi Filii tui (" That it may become 
to us the body and blood of Thy most beloved Son" ). 
The priest, according to St. Thomas, does not thereby 
ask that the consecration be accomplished, but that it 
be profitable to us. 2 

Qui,pridic quam paterctur, etc. ("Who the day before 
he suffered," etc.). Here the priest, renewing the mem 
ory of the Passion of Jesus Christ, relates what the 
Lord did on the evening before his death, when he in 
stituted the Sacrament and the sacrifice of his body and 
blood. Then the priest does the same thing, and con 
secrates by pronouncing the very words used by Jesus 
Christ, as St. Ambrose remarks: "He uses not his own 
words, but the very words of Jesus Christ." 3 

The form of the consecration is taken from St. 

Matthew : Hoc est corpus meum (" This is my body"). 4 

These words need no explanation, since they themselves 

"Exhibeatis corpora vestra hostiam viventem, sanctam, Deo 

placentem, rationabile obsequium vestrum." Rom. xii. I. 

2 " Non ut consecratio impleatur, sed tit nobis fiat fructuosa." P. 
3, q- 83, a. 4. 

3 " Non suis sermonibus, sed utitur sermonibus Christi." De Sacr. 
1. 4. c. 4. 

4 Matt, xx vi. 26. 

Short Explanation of the Prayers of Mass. 53 

declare what mystery is accomplished, namely, the 
change of the bread into the body of Jesus Christ. 

The form of the consecration of the chalice is as fol 
lows: Hie est enim calix Sanguinis mei, novi et ceterni Tes 
tamenti, mysterium fidei, qui pro vobis et pro multis effundetur 
in remissionem peccatorum (" For this is the chalice of my 
blood of the new and eternal testament, the mystery of 
faith, which shall be shed for you, and for many, to the 
remission of sins"). These words the Church has taken 
from different texts of the Gospel, partly from St. Luke, 
partly from St. Matthew. St. Luke says: This is the 
chalice, the new testament in my blood, which shall be sited for 
you. 1 St. Matthew: For this is my blood of the new testament 
which shall be shed for many unto remission of sins? The word 
ceterni, "everlasting," is found in St. Paul: In the blood 
of the everlasting testament* The other words, Mystery of 
faith, the Roman catechism declares are taught by 
sacred tradition, which is the guardian of Catholic 
truths. This divine mystery is called Mystery of faith, 
not to exclude the reality of the blood of Jesus Christ, 
but to show that in it the faith shines forth in a wonder 
ful manner, and triumphs over all the difficulties that 
may be raised by human reason, since it is here, says 
Innocent III., 4 that we see one thing and believe another. 
We believe, he idds, that the form that we read in the 
Canon was received from Jesus Christ by the Apostles, 
and that they transmitted it to their successors. 6 The 

" Hie est calix novum Testamentum in Sanguine meo, qui pro 
vobis fundetur." Luke, xxii. 20. 

2 " Hie est enim Sanguis meus novi Testamenti, qui pro multis 
effundetur in remissionem peccatorum." Matt. xxvi. 28. 

3 " In sanguine Testamenti aeterni." Heb. xiii. 20. 

4 " Quoniam aliud ibi cernitur, aliud creditur." De Alt. Myst. 1. 
4, c. 36. 

"Sane formam istam verborum ab ipso Christo acceperunt Apos 
toli, et ab ipsis Apostolis accepit Ecclesia." Ibid. c. 5. 

54 Short Explanation of the Prayers of Mass. 

Roman catechism, 1 moreover, says, that the words of 
consecration should be thus understood: It is my blood 
that is contained in the chalice of the New Testament. 
This signifies that men receive no longer the figure of the 
blood of Jesus Christ, as was the case in the Old Law ; 
but they really receive the true blood of the New Testa 
ment. The words Provobis et pro multis (" For you and 
for many") are used to distinguish the virtue of the 
blood of Christ from its fruits; for the blood of our 
Saviour is of sufficient value to save all men, but its 
fruits are applicable only to a certain number and not to 
all, and this is their own fault. Or, as the theologians 
say, this precious blood is (in itself) sufficiently (suf- 
ficlenier) able to save all men, but (on our part) effectu 
ally (efficaciter) it does not save all it saves only those 
who co-operate with grace. This is the explanation of 
St. Thomas, as quoted by Benedict XIV.* 

The consecration is followed by the elevation of the host 
and of the chalice: this is done, writes Sassi, in order to 
prove the truth of the Eucharist which was attacked by 
Berengarius at the beginning of the twelfth century. The 
same truth is again professed at the second elevation 
shortly before the Pater noster, when the priest says, Omnis 
honor et gloria (" All honor and glory"). It was also at the 
time of the heresy of Berengarius that the custom was 
introduced of ringing the bell at the elevation of the 
Host and of the chalice. 

1 P. 2, c. 4, q. 20. 

* De Miss. Sacr. 1. 2, c. 15. Benedict XIV. here observes that 
St. Thomas (P. 3, q. 18, a. 3) seems to favor the opinion of those 
who make the essential form of the consecration of the chalice con 
sist in all the words that the priest pronounces as far as Hac quoties- 
cumque; because the words that follow, Hie est enitn calix sanguinis 
mei, are determination es pradicati, that is to say, sanguinis Christi, 
and consequently, belonging ad integritatem ejusdem locutionis, are 
de substantia forma. St. Pius V. caused the contrary opinion to be 
erased from the commentary of Cajetan. 

Short Explanation of the Prayers of Mass. 55 

H<zc quotiescumque feceritis, inmei memoriam facietis ("As 
often as ye do these things, ye shall do them in remem 
brance of me"). After the two consecrations the priest 
repeats the words of Jesus Christ, by which our Saviour 
commanded his Apostles and their successors to do, in 
memory of his Passion, what he had just done himself in 
their presence. 

Undeet memores^Domine, etc. (" Wherefore, O Lord, . . . 
calling to mind," etc.). Here the priest calls to mind 
the Passion of our Lord, his resurrection, and ascension. 
He offers to the divine majesty in the name of the 
Church the consecrated victim, which he calls a pure 
Host, exempt from every sin; holy, being united with 
the divinity in the person of the Word; immaculate, with 
out any stain; and then, "The holy bread of eternal life, 
and the chalice of everlasting salvation." While pro 
nouncing these words he blesses the bread and the 
chalice with the sign of the cross. On this subject 
Luther turns to ridicule the Roman Church by asking 
how the priest blesses Jesus Christ how the creature 
blesses the Creator. We answer here that the priest 
blesses the Host, not by his own authority, nor in his 
own name, but in the name and by the authority of the 
Eternal Father, who alone can bless Jesus Christ as 
man and as victim. Such is the answer given on this 
point by Innocent III. St. Thomas answers differently 
by saying that after the consecration the priest does 
not make the sign of the cross to bless, but only to re 
mind us of the power of the cross and of the death of our 
Lord. 1 

Supra qua propitio, etc. (" Upon which vouchsafe to 
look," etc.). The priest then prays to the Lord that he 

1 " Sacerdos, post consecrationem, non utitur crucesignatione ad 
benedicendum et consecrandum, sed solum ad commemorandum vir- 
tutem crucis et modum passionis Christi. quae ad crucem est termi- 
nata." P. 3, q. 83, a. 5. 

56 Short Explanation of the Prayers of Mass. 

may accept with pleasure this sacrifice, just as lie ac 
cepted the offerings of Abel, the sacrifice of Abraham, 
and that of Melchusedech. In recalling to mind the sacra- 
fice of Abel, of Abraham, and of Melchisedech, we regard 
less the value of the things offered than the sanctity of 
those who offered them, because they were holy men. Con- 
qtiently, if God, because of his sanctity, favorably re 
ceived their sacrifice, how much more should please him 
the sacrifice of the Saint of saints of our Lord Jesus 
Christ ! But the most decisive reason on account of which 
the Church makes special mention of these three sacrifices 
is, because they represented in an excellent mariner the 
sacrifice of Jesus Christ. 

Supplices te rogamus, etc. ("We most humbly beseech 
Thee," etc.). The priest continues humbly to ask the 
Saviour that the consecrated Host be presented to his 
divine Majesty through the hands of his holy Angel, in 
order that all those who are going to receive the body 
and the blood of his adorable Son may be filled with 
blessings and all celestial gifts through the merits of 
Jesus Christ. By the Angel of whom mention is made 
in this prayer, we may understand the Angel who pre 
sides at the Sacrifice of the Altar, or, as our French author 
says, we may understand Jesus Christ himself, who is pre 
eminently the Holy Angel, called in Scripture the Angel 
of the Great Counsel. But the explanation of St. 
Thomas seems to be the most natural. The priest, he 
says, speaks for the Church, and asks that the Angel 
who presides at the divine mysteries may present to God 
the prayers of the celebrant and of the people. 1 

Memento etiam, Domine, etc. (" Be mindful, O Lord," 
etc.). The priest asks the Lord to remember his ser 
vants who have passed to the other life and are slumber- 

1 " Sacerdos petit hoc pro corpore mystico, ut scilicet orationes 
Sacerdotis et populi Angelas assistens divinis mysteriis Deo reprae 
sentet." P. 3, q, 83, a. 4. 

Short Explanation of the Prayers of Mass. 5 7 

ing in the sleep of peace, and to grant them a place of 
refreshment, light, and peace, through the merits of 
Jesus Christ. When the charity of the souls that depart 
from this life is not sufficient to purify them, the fire of 
purgatory will supply this defect. Yet the charity of the 
Saviour supplies it best by means of the Eucharistic 
sacrifice, which procures for these holy souls great miti 
gation of their sufferings, and often deliverance from 
their torments. The Council of Trent says: "The souls 
there detained are helped by the suffrages of the faithful, 
but principally by the acceptable sacrifice of the altar." l 
And it adds 2 that this is a tradition of the Apostles. St. 
Augustine exhorts us to offer the sacrifice for all the 
dead, in case the souls that we recommend cannot re 
ceive our help. 

Nobis quoquc peecatoribus, etc. (" And to us sinners," 
etc.). Here the Church prays for sinners, in order that 
God may vouchsafe, in his mercy, to permit them to 
enter the society of the saints ; and she asks this grace 
through the merits of Jesus Christ. She then adds : 

Per quern hccc omnia semper bona creas, etc. (" By whom, 
O Lord, Thou dost always create," etc.). By the Word 
Thou hast created this bread and wine, and now, by the 
same Word, Thou hast sanctified (sanctificas) them by 
reserving them for the sacrifice. Thou hast quickened 
them (vivificas) by changing them into the body and the 
blood of Jesus Christ; Thou hast blessed (benedicts) them 
and transformed them into a source of benediction for 
the Church of Christ; and, finally, TJiou hast given us all 
these good things (et prccstas nobis) by distributing them 
to the faithful in Holy Communion. And all these 
favors the Church asks through the merits of Jesus 
Christ: Per ipsum, that is, through him; cum ipso, in 

1 "Animas ibi detentas, fidelium suffragiis, potissimum vero ac- 
ceptabili altaris Sacrificio juvari." Sess. 25, Deer, de Purg. 
8 Sess. 22, c, 2. 

58 Short Explanation of the Prayers of Mass. 

union with our Saviour; in ipso, in him as the members 
are in the body, since God recognizes as his own only 
those who are united with Jesus Christ. 


Oremus. Praceptis salutaribus moniti, etc. (" Instructed 
by Thy saving precepts, etc."). The Church militant 
regards herself as entirely composed of sinners ; she 
thinks herself unworthy to call God her Father, and to 
address to him the seven petitions, which in the name of 
the faithful she is going to address to him by reciting 
the Pater noster, ("Our Father"). Hence she protests 
that she only dares to address to God this prayer 
because God himself has commanded her to do so. She 
then teaches us that we may venture to present to God 
the seven petitions which contain the whole economy of 
our salvation, because it is pleasing to him and he him 
self gives us the command. We are so miserable, and 
our mind is so limited, that we do not even know what 
graces we should ask of God in behalf of our own sal 
vation. Regarding our poverty and our insufficiency, 
Jesus Christ himself deigned to compose our prayer or 
to indicate the subjects on which we should address 
Almighty God. He instructs us to say : 

Pater noster, qui es in ccelis (" Our Father, who art in 
heaven, etc.). The Apostle St. John says: Behold what 
manner of charity the Father -hath bestowed upon us that we 
should be called, and should be the sons of God. 1 It is as 
suredly only by the effect of extreme love that we worms 
of the earth have been enabled to become the children of 
God, not by nature, but by adoption; and such is the 
immense grace that the Son of God has obtained for us 
by becoming man; for St. Paul says: You have received the 

1 " Videte qualem charitatem dedit nobis Pater, ut Filii Dei nomi- 
nemur et simus." I John, iii. I. 

Short Explanation of the Prayers of Jlfass. 59 

spirit of adoption of sons, whereby we cry, Abba (Father). 
Can a subject wish for greater happiness than to be 
adopted by his king? or a creature to be adopted by its 
Creator? This is what God has done for us; and he 
wishes that we should address to him with filial confi 
dence the following prayer: 

1. Sanctificctur nomem tuum (" Hallowed be Thy name"). 
God cannot possess a greater sanctity than that which 
he possesses from all eternity, because he is infinite; 
hence what we ask in this prayer is merely that God 
may make known in every place his holy name, and 
that he may make himself loved by all men: by unbe 
lievers, who know him not; by heretics, who do not know 
him in the right manner; and by sinners, who know him 
but do not love him. 

2. Adveniat regnum tuum (" Thy kingdom come"). Two 
kinds of dominion God exercises over our souls the do 
minion of grace and the dominion of glory. By these 
words we ask for both, namely, that the grace of God 
may reign among us in this life, that it may direct and 
govern us, so that one day we may be judged worthy of 
glory, and may have the happiness to possess God and 
be possessed by him for all eternity. 

3. Fiat voluntas tua, sicut in ccelo, et in terra (" Thy will 
be done on earth, as it is in heaven"). The whole perfec 
tion of a soul consists in the perfect accomplishment of 
the will of God, as is done by the blessed in heaven. 
Hence Jesus Christ wishes us to ask the grace to ac 
complish the will of God upon earth, as the angels and 
saints accomplish it in heaven. 

4. Panem nostrum quotidianum da nobishodie (" Give us this 
day our daily bread"). Such is the text as we find it in 
St. Luke. 2 By this prayer we ask God for the temporal 

" Accepistis Spiritum adoptionis, in quo clamamus : Abba (Pater)." 
Rom. viii. 15. 
2 Luke, xi. 3. 

60 Short Explanation of the Prayers of Mass. 

goods of which we stand in need to sustain our present 
life. The words " Our daily bread " teach us that we 
should ask for this kind of goods with moderation, after 
the example of Solomon, who asked only what was neces 
sary: Give me only the necessaries of life? It is to be re 
marked that in the Gospel of St. Matthew, instead of the 
daily bread, we read, Give us this day our super substantial* 
bread* By this supersubstantial bread we must un 
derstand, according to the explanation given by the 
Roman catechism, Jesus Christ himself in the Sacra 
ment of the Altar, that is, in Holy Communion. We ask 
this heavenly bread every day, Give us this day, because 
every good Christian should communicate every day, 
if not really at least spiritually, as we are exhorted by 
the Council of Trent. 

5. Et dimitte nobis debita nostra, sicut et nos dimittimus 
debitoribus nostris ("And forgive us our trespasses, as we 
forgive them that trespass against us"). To eat worthily 
of this heavenly bread, we must be free from mortal sin, 
or at least be washed of it by the blood of the Lamb in 
the sacrament of penance. We say, free from mortal sin; 
but it must be observed that if anyone should communi 
cate with an actual affection for some venial sin, he could 
not be said to communicate without offering some indig 
nity to our Lord at least if he communicates often. 

6. Et ne nos inducas in tentationem (" And lead us not 
into temptation"). How are these words to be under- 

1 "Tribue tantum victui meo necessaria." Prov. xxx. 8. 

2 "Supersubstantialem." Matt. vi. n. 

* These two expressions are not opposed to each other; on the 
contrary, one explains the other. We ask, in the one as in the other, 
what is each day necessary for the subsistence of the body and of the 
soul; but we chiefly ask for spiritual nourishment, and, above every 
thing else, for the Holy Eucharist, which is pre-eminently and beyond 
comparison called the bread of life and the true bread of the children 
of God- Panis vita, vere Panis filiorum, ED. 

Short Explanation of the Prayers of Mass. 61 

stood ? Does God sometimes tempt us does he lead us 
into temptation? No; for St. James says: God is not a 
tempter of evils, and He tempteth no man. 1 This text we 
must understand as we do that of Isaias: Blind the heart 
of this people . . . lest they see? God never blinds any 
sinner, but he often refuses to grant to some, in punish 
ment for their ingratitude, the light that he would have 
given them had they remained faithful and grateful. 
Hence when it is said that God makes any one blind, it 
is meant that he withholds the light of his grace. This, 
therefore is the sense of the prayer, and lead us not into 
temptation; we ask God not to permit us to have the mis 
fortune of being in those occasions of sin in which we 
might fall. Hence we should always watch and pray 
as the Lord exhorts us to do, in order not to fall into, 
temptation : Watch ye, and pray that ye enter not into tempta 
tion? To enter into temptation means the same as to 
find one s self in the dangerof falling into sin; we should 
therefore often say to God, Lord, lead us not into tempta 

7. Sed libera nos a malo (" But deliver us from evil "). 
There are three kinds of evils from which we should ask 
the Lord to deliver us the temporal evils of the body, 
the spiritual evils of the soul, and the eternal evils of the 
next life. As for the temporal evils of this life, we ought 
always to be disposed to receive with resignation those 
that God sends us for the good of our souls, such as 
poverty, sickness, and desolation; and when we ask God 
to deliver us from temporal evils we should always do 
so on condition that they are not necessary nor useful 
for our salvation. But the true evils from which we 

" Deus enim intentator malorum est; ipsc autcm nerninem ten- 
tat." James, i. 13. 

2 " Excaeca cor populi hujus . . . ne forte videat." Isa. vi. 10. 

3 "Vigilate et orate, ut non intretis in tentationem." Matt. xxvi. 

62 Short Explanation of the Prayers of Mass. 

should absolutely pray to be delivered are spiritual evils, 
sins, which are the cause of eternal evils. Moreover, let 
us be convinced of this infallible truth, that in the present 
state of corrupt nature we cannot be saved unless we 
pass through the many tribulations with which this life 
is filled: Through many tribulations we must enter into the 
kingdom of God. 1 

The priest finishes the Lord s prayer with the word 
Amen, which he pronounces in a low voice, because he 
represents the person of Jesus Christ, who is the founda 
tion of all the divine promises.* This word is a summary 
of all the petitions that have been made petitions the re 
petition of which pleases the Lord, for the more we pray 
to God the more he will hear our prayers. The great 
people of this world are not pleased when they are im 
portuned by petitions; but this importunity is pleasing 
to God, says St. Jerome. a Cornelius a Lapide even as 
sures us that God wishes that we should persevere in 
this importunity in our prayers. 3 

From the Prayer " Libera nos" till the Communion. 

Immediately after the Pater noster the priest recites 
the prayer Libera nos, qucesumus, Domine (" Deliver us, O 
Lord"), by which he asks the Lord for himself and for 
all the faithful to grant, through the intercession of the 
Blessed Virgin, of the apostles and of all the saints, a 
continual peace during the days of the present life, so 

1 " Per multas tribulationes oportet nos intrare in regnum Dei."- 
Acts, xiv. 21. 

2 " Oratio, quamvis irnportuna, plus arnica est." Horn, in Matt. 

3 " Vult Deus nos in oratione esse perseverantes usque ad impor- 
tunitatem." In Luc. xi. 8. 

* This signifies that the divine Mediator gives support to our 
prayer and renders it efficacious. Eu. 

Short Explanation of the Prayers of Mass. 63 

that his divine mercy may preserve them from every sin 
and from all confusion. 

He then says, Pax Domini sit semper vobiscum (" May 
the peace of the Lord be always with you"). He wishes 
the peace of the Lord for all his brethren, who answer 
him with the same wish: Et cum spiritu tuo ("And with 
thy spirit"). He makes at the same time upon the chalice, 
with the particle of the Host which he holds in his hand, 
three signsof the cross, which indicates, according to St. 
Thomas, 1 the three days that Jesus Christ spent in the 

The priest then drops the sacred particle into the 
chalice and says these words: Hcec commixtio et consccratio 
Corporis et Sanguinis Domini nostri Jesu Christi fiat accipi- 
entibus nobis in vitam aternam! (" May this mixture and con 
secration of the body and blood of our Lord Jesus Christ 
be to us that receive it effectual to eternal life"). Ex 
plaining these words, Consecratio . . . fiat, Bellarmin says 
that we do not here ask that the consecration should 
take place, but that it be profitable for eternal life to 
those who are about to receive Jesus Christ in Holy Com 
munion. 3 This mixture of the holy species represents 
the union of the divinity with the humanity which was at 
first effected in the womb of Mary through the Incarna 
tion of the Word, and which is renewed in the souls of 
the faithful when they receive him in the Eucharistic 

Agnus Dei, qui tollis peccata mundi ("Lamb of God, who 
takest away the sins of the world"). Before Communion 
the Lamb of God, Jesus Christ, as the victim of the sac 
rifice, is invoked, and is invoked three times, to point out 

1 P. 3, q- 83, a. 5. 

" Non enim petimus ut nunc fiat Consecratio, sed tit Consecratio, 
antea facta, sit nobis ad vitam aeternam salutaris." De Miss. 1. 2, c. 

64 Short Explanation of the Prayers of Mass. 

the need that we have of his grace, in order to be recon 
ciled with God and to receive his peace. 

Here follow the three prayers that precede Commun 

In the first prayer Domine Jesu Christe, qui dixisti 
Apostolis tuis, Pacem relinquo vobis (" Lord Jesus Christ, 
who said to Thy Apostles, I leave you peace") prayer 
is offered to God that he may vouchsafe to grant peace 
to the Church in consideration of her faith, and keep her 
in union, according to his will, by delivering her from the 
division produced by false doctrines, and from all that is 
contrary to the divine will. And here the Church has in 
troduced the custom that the" faithful should give one an 
other the kiss of peace, to remind them that their hearts 
should be united in charity. Before giving the kiss of 
peace, the priest kisses the altar, to show that he cannot 
give the peace unless he has first received it from Jesus 
Christ, who is represented by the altar. 

In the second prayer, Domine Jesu Christe, Fili Dei 
vivi, the priest asks Jesus Christ, by virtue of his ador 
able body and blood, to deliver him from all evils, and to 
keep him always united with him. 

In the third prayer he beseeches the Lord that this 
Communion may not turn to his condemnation, but may 
be for the salvation of his soul and body. The Holy 
Eucharist protects the soul against temptations and pas 
sions; it extinguishes the fire of concupiscence that burns 
in our bodies, and is a powerful remedy against the death 
of the soul. 

After these prayers the priest says, while invoking the 
name of the Lord, Panem ccelestem accipiam, et nomen 
Domini invocabo (" I will take the bread of heaven, and 
call upon the name of our Lord"). In order that the 
earthly food may be of benefit to us, we must eat it when 
we are hungry; in like manner, in order that Communion 
may produce in us much fruit, we should receive it with 

Short Explanation of the Prayers of Mass. 65 

great desire to possess Jesus Christ and to love him ar 
dently. As John Gerson says, we ought, at the moment 
in which we are about to receive Jesus, invoke him anew, 
in order to obtain the grace to receive him with great 
profit to our souls. 

Corpus (Sanguis) Domini iwstri Jesu Cliristi custodiat ani- 
mam meam in vitam ccternam (" May the Body (Blood) of 
our Lord Jesus Christ preserve my soul to life everlast 
ing"). While pronouncing these words the priest re 
ceives the body and the blood of Jesus Christ. This 
prayer recalls to our mind that this precious body and 
blood are given to us as a pledge of eternal life, and as a 
viaticum in order to pass from this exile to our heavenly 
country. Hence when we receive Communion we ought 
to be so disposed as if we had to leave the earth at once, 
to enter eternity. 


Quid rctribuam Domino pro omnibus qua. retribuit mihi ? 
(" What shall I render to the Lord for all he hath rendered 
unto me ?") The priest says, For all \ etc., because he who 
receives Jesus Christ in Communion receives all the 
gifts and all the goods that one can desire, according to 
the words of St. Paul: How hath He not also, with Him, 
given us all things. 1 He says, What shall I render? be 
cause man is not capable of thanking God as he should 
thank him. Jesus Christ only can worthily thank the 
Eternal Father for the gifts that he bestowed upon men. 
The priest therefore adds: Calicem sal u tar is accipiam, et 
nomen Domini invocabo ( I will take the chalice of salva 
tion, and call upon the name of the Lord"). He suppli- 

"Quomodonon etiam cum illo omnia nobis donavit ?" Rom. viii. 

66 Short Explanation of the Prayers of Mass. 

cates the Divine Redeemer to thank the heavenly Father 
for himself and for all men. 

After having taken the precious blood he renews his 
thanks to God in the following words: Quod ore sumpsi- 
mus, D omine , pur a mcnte capiamus, et de miiucre temporali fiat 
nobis remedium sempiternum ("Grant, O Lord, that what 
we have taken with our mouth we may receive with a 
pure mind, that of a temporal gift it may become to us an 
eternal remedy"). By this prayer the Church makes us 
ask God that, as our mouth has received this divine 
food and drink, our hearts may also receive them, so that 
they may be for us an eternal remedy that may forever 
heal us of all our infirmities. 

Finally the priest says, Corpus tuum, Domine, quod 
sumpsi, et Sanguis quern potavi, adhizreat visceribus meis 
(" May Thy body, O Lord, which I have received, and 
the blood which I have drunk, cleave to my bowels"). In 
this prayer, and in the last prayer called Post-commun 
ion, he asks, through the merits of Jesus Christ in this 
mystery, and through the intercession of the saint whose 
memory is celebrated, that this divine Saviour may al 
ways preserve him in this intimate union with him, and 
that no stain may rest on his soul, which has been 
nourished by a sacrament so holy and so pure. 

//<?, Missa est (" Go, the Mass is ended"); or, Benedica- 
mus Domino (" Let us bless the Lord"). It is with these 
words that the priest dismisses the people, just as if he 
said, The Sacrifice is accomplished; and those who are 
present while thanking God by the mouth of the ser 
ver, say, Deo Gratias (" Thanks be to God"). " To give 
thanks to God," says St. Augustine, " is to acknowledge 
that all good things come from God, and to thank him 
for them." 

The priest afterwards passes to the right side of the 

1 " Deo gratias agere, est sentire omnia bona a Deo data esse, et 
pro ipsis Deum laudare." 

Short Explanation of the Prayers of Mass. 67 

altar, and recites the Gospel of St. John: In principle erat 
Verbum (" In the beginning was the Word"). William de 
Bury says that it was St. Pius V. who ordained that this 
Gospel should always be recited at the end of Mass; as 
formerly some said it, and others omitted it. 

This explanation of the prayers of Mass may be ser 
viceable to all to the faitlif ul as well as to priests. 

68 Account of Miraculous Discovery 


THE YEAR 1772. 

HAVING received information from many persons of 
the wonderful occurrence that I am now going briefly 
to relate, I endeavored to collect evidence sufficient to 
enable me to publish an account of it; and I first ob 
tained a full relation of the fact, written by a priest of 
the same town, who was one of the eye-witnesses of the 
miracle. But not satisfied with this, I read myself the 
authentic process that was drawn up by the Archi- 
episcopal Court of Naples, by order of his Eminence 
Cardinal Sersale, the present Archbishop. The process 
is very long, consisting of 364 pages a most careful in 
vestigation into the facts having been made by the 
officers of the court from the evidence of many priests 
and lay persons, all of whom, in perfect agreement, 
made their depositions on oath. 

It happened on the morning of the 28th of January, in 
the past year 1772, at a place called S. Pietro a Paterno, 
in the diocese of Naples, that the tabernacle of the 
parish church, in which the Blessed Sacrament was re 
served, was found open, and that the two ciboriums, a 
large and a small one, containing many particles, had 
been taken away. For several days the whole neighbor 
hood was in the greatest distress and grief; and though 
the most diligent search was made, no tidings could be 
obtained qither of the ciboriums or of the sacred par 
ticles. At last, on Thursday, the i8th of February, a 

of the Blessed Sacrament. 69 

certain youth, Giuseppe Orefice, of about eighteen years 
old, as he was passing in the evening near the property 
of the Duke of Grottolelle, saw a number of lights, which 
had the appearance of bright stars. The following even 
ing he saw the same thing, and on coming home he told 
his father what he had seen; his father, however, would 
not believe him. 

On the following day, about an hour before sunrise, 
the father was passing by the same spot, with Giuseppe 
and his brother Giovanni (a child of eleven years), who, 
turning to his father, said: " See, father, the lights of 
which Giuseppe spoke to you yesterday evening, and 
you would not believe him!" 

On the evening of the same day, the same boys, on 
coming home, again saw the lights in the same place. 
Don Girolamo Guarino, the confessor of Giuseppe Ore 
fice, was then informed of it, who, in company with his 
brother Don Diego, also a priest, went to the spot where 
the lights had been seen, and meanwhile sent for Ore 
fice, who, on coming there with his brother and a person 
called Tomaso Piccino, again saw the lights; but at that 
time the priests saw nothing. 

On the evening of Monday, the 23d-of February, Ore 
fice returned to the spot with Piccino and a man named 
Carlo Marotta, and met on the road two strangers, who 
stopped and asked them what those many lights were 
which they had just distinctly seen, and which twinkled 
like stars. They replied that they did not know; and, 
taking leave of the strangers, they ran in haste to mark 
the spot where they had seen the lights. As soon as 
they had marked the spot, which was distant a few 
steps from the hedge, and in which was a poplar-tree 
higher than the rest of the trees, they went to find the 
two priests already mentioned, told them what had 
occurred, and returned all together to the spot. 

When they were all there, with a child of five years, 

70 Account of Miraculous Discovery 

nephew to the two priests, the child cried out: "See, 
there are the lights, which look like two candles." 
(Here we must observe, that the lights did not always 
appear in the same manner.) At the same moment 
Orefice saw these two lights, and said they shone like 
two stars; Carlo and Tomaso also saw them, and three 
Other children of Signer Guarino, close to the poplar 
already mentioned. 

After this they heard the shouting of many people, 
who, from a stack of straw which was on the property, 
were begging the priest to come and see in the stack a 
great light in the appearance of a flame. In the mean 
time, a woman named Lucia Marotta threw herself with 
her face to the ground on the spot where the light was 

The priests and many other persons ran up, and hav 
ing lifted up the woman, commenced to dig the ground; 
but then they found nothing. The two brothers, Giu 
seppe Orefice, with Tomaso Piccino and Carlo Marotta, 
then returned to the town; and going along the Strada 
Regia they heard the cries of those who had remained 
on the spot. Going back there, Piccino fell suddenly 
upon his face; and after a few steps, Giuseppe felt him 
self pushed forward on the shoulders, and he also at 
once fell to the ground. In the same way, and at the 
same moment, the other two, Carlo Marotta and Gio 
vanni, Giuseppe s brother, also fell; and all four felt 
their heads wounded, as if they had received a severe 
blow with a stick. 

Having risen, they went forward a few steps; Giu 
seppe, as also Carlo, Tomaso, and Giovanni, saw a bril 
liant light as of the sun coming forth from beneath the 
poplar-tree; and they all four saw rising out of this 
light, to about four or five feet in height, a dove, which 
was almost as brilliant as the light itself: the dove, 
however, gliding down into the earth at the foot of the 

of the Blessed Sacrament. 7 1 

poplar, from which it came out, disappeared, as also did 
the light. What the dove signified is not known; but it 
appears certain that it was something supernatural; and 
all the persons already mentioned gave evidence of the 
fact upon oath before the Vicar-General of Naples. 

After this, remaining in the same place, they all cried 
out: "See, there are the lights !" And going on their 
knees they began to seek for the sacred particles. While 
Piccino was scooping out the earth with his hands, they 
saw one particle come out white as paper. They then 
sent to call the priests. Don Diego Guarino came, and 
kneeling down he took the sacred particle and put it in 
a white linen handkerchief, amid the tears and devotion 
of all the people, who wept bitterly. 

He then began to search more carefully; and having 
removed some more earth, he saw a group of about forty 
particles appear, which had not lost their whiteness, al 
though they had been buried for nearly a month from 
the time they were stolen. They were placed in the 
same handkerchief, and the earth in which they were 
found was also removed. 

It being now rumored about, other priests of the place 
came to the spot, bringing with them a ciborium, cotta, 
stole, canopy, and torches. In the mean time a priest 
and a gentleman went to Monsignor the Vicar-General 
to know what was to be done. An order came that the 
particles should be carried in procession to the church. 
They did so, and arrived at the church about half-past 
eleven at night, when the particles were placed in the 

This took place on the night of the 24th of February. 
The people were much consoled, but not fully so, be 
cause the greater part of the particles, as was supposed, 
were still wanting. 

But on the evening of the following Tuesday, the 25th, 
a small light, but very brilliant, was seen in the same 

72 Account of Miraculous Discovery 

place as at the first, by many persons, country-people, 
gentlemen, as also by the priests Don Diego Guarino 
and Don Giuseppe Lindtner, who wrote for me an ac 
count of the whole affair, as I mentioned at the begin 
ning. This priest, being much terrified, pointed to a 
mustard-plant which was growing there, and cried out: 
"O Jesus, O Jesus ! look at the light there, look at it !" 
Upon which the others also saw a most dazzling light* 
which rose about a foot and a half from the ground, and 
formed itself on the top into the figure of a rose. Giu 
seppe Orefice, who was there, affirmed that the light was 
so brilliant that his eyes remained for some time dazzled 
and dimmed. 

They began, therefore, to seek the remainder of the 
particles in that place, but found none; but on the 
evening of the following day, the 26th of February, a 
number of lights was seen round the stack of straw by 
three cavalry soldiers of the regiment called Borbone, 
Pasquale de S. Angelo of the diocese of Atri and Penne, 
Giuseppe Lanzano, and Angelo di Costanzo of Acerra, 
who were all examined before the archiepiscopal court. 
These deposed before Monsignor the Vicar-General, 
that as they were riding round the royal villa of Ca- 
serta, where his majesty the king then resided, they saw 
on the property above mentioned " several lights like 
shining stars." These are the very words of the soldiers, 
as taken down in the process. 

Moreover, on the same evening of the 26th, Signor D. 
Ferdinando Haam, a gentleman of Prague in Bohemia, 
Chancellor and Secretary for letters to the Embassy of 
his Imperial and Royal Apostolic Majesty, was return 
ing from the city of Caserta at about nine at night, 
along the Strada Regia, near to the above-mentioned 
property: he alighted from his carriage to go and see 
the place where he had heard the stolen particles had 
been found two days before. On arriving there he 

of th e Blessed Sacra mcnt. / 3 

found many persons, and among them the priest Don 
Giuseppe Lindtner, with whom he was acquainted, who 
told him the whole history both of the sacrilege and of 
the miraculous discovery of the particles. Signor Haam, 
after having heard the priest, related that he also, eight 
or nine days before, on the lyth or i8th of the month, 
not having then heard either of the particles that had 
been stolen or of the lights that had been seen, was 
passing by this place about nine at night, and that he 
saw "a great number of lights amounting to about a 
thousand," and at the same time a number of persons 
who were standing in silence and with devotion round 
the lights. Being much frightened at what he saw, he 
asked the driver what those lights were; he replied, 
" that perhaps they were accompanying the Most Holy 
Viaticum to some sick person." " No," replied Signor 
Haam, "that cannot be, otherwise we should at least 
hear the bells." Hence he suspected that these lights 
were the effect of some diabolical sorcery, and so much 
the more as the horse had stopped, and would not go 
on a step: he therefore made the driver get down, but it 
was impossible to make the horse go on; it trembled all 
over and foamed at the mouth. At last, after many 
attempts, the horse, drawn away as by force out of the 
road which led to the ground, set off with such speed 
that the driver cried out: "O Jesus, what will come of 
this ?" And so Signor D. Ferdinando returned to Naples, 
seized with great fear. He himself deposed the whole 
of this in the archiepiscopal court, as maybe read in the 

On the evening of Thursday, the 27th, at about seven 
o clock, Giuseppe Orefice and Carlo Marotta went to 
the place where was the stack of straw, which they 
found had been burned by the priests Don Girolamo 
Guarino and Giuseppe Lindtner, in order that they 
might more easily search for the missing particles : 

74 Account of Miraculous Discovery 

they found also Giuseppe Piscopo, Carmine Esposito, 
and Palmiero Novello, prostrate on the ground and 
weeping, because they had seen a little light appearing 
and then disappearing before them several times. When 
Orefice heard this, he knelt down, and began to recite 
the acts of faith, hope, and charity: when he had finished 
he returned with the others to see what the light was, 
which, according to the deposition of Orefice, rose up 
about four fingers from the earth, and then disappeared 
as it were in the ground. After this, having put a mark 
over the place where the light had appeared, so as not 
to be mistaken, Orefice and Marotta went to inform the 
priest Don Girolamo Guarino, who came immediately 
to the place and found many persons kneeling there: he 
began to search with care about the ground on which 
the mark had been placed. 

At this moment many persons again saw the light; 
and Guarino, who did not see it, made the sign of the 
cross upon the ground, and ordered his brother Giuseppe 
to scoop out the earth on which the stack of straw had 
stood, on the left of the cross, with a pickaxe which he 
had in his hand; but he found nothing. However, just 
as they were thinking of digging in another part, Giu 
seppe Orefice, who was on his knees all the time, put 
his hand on the ground, and finding that it was soft 
and yielding, mentioned it to Don Guarino, who, tak 
ing a knife from his brother, stuck it into the ground 
on the spot which had been marked with the cross; and 
when it was at its depth, he heard a noise as if several 
hosts united together were broken. He drew the knife 
out of the ground, and with it a little ball of earth, to 
whicli he saw many particles were attached. Struck 
with fear at what he saw, he cried out in astonishment, 
"Oh, oh, oh!" and then fainted away; so that, as he 
himself deposed, his sight failed him, and, losing all 

of the Blessed Sacrament. 75 

power over himself, the knife, with the ball of earth and 
the particles, fell from his hand. 

As soon as Guarino recovered his senses, he put the 
particles in a white linen handkerchief, covered them up, 
and laid them in the hole in which they had been found; 
for, on account of the trembling which had come over 
him, and especially in the arms, he was not able to stand 
upright. The parish priest, being informed of what had 
happened, came quickly to the spot, where he found all 
kneeling before this hidden treasure; and having taken 
better information of the event, he went back to his 
church, and sent a canopy, veil, a number of wax-tapers, 
and a chalice in which the sacred particles were put. 
The assistants spread the veil over a little table covered 
with silk, on which the Blessed Sacrament reposed ; round 
this a number of persons knelt with lighted torches; and 
many people arrived, not only from the town, but also 
from the surrounding villages, with their priests, all of 
whom shed tears of tender devotion. In the mean time 
the priest Lindtner and Signor Giuseppe Guarino went 
off to find Monsignor the Vicar-General, and returned 
about ten o clock with orders to carry in procession the 
particles that had been found to the parish church of S. 
Pietro a Paterno. They did so, and along the way they 
all sang, praising and thanking Almighty God. As 
soon as they arrived at the church, benediction was 
given with the chalice in the midst of the tears and 
cries of devotion of the whole people, who could not 
leave off weeping and thanking the Lord for the great 
consolation they had received. 

We read in the history of olden times of many such 
like prodigies in confirmation of the truth of the Most 
Holy Sacrament. I myself, in my History of Heresies, 
have related many examples on this matter in the time 
of the impious Wickliffe, who was the first of modern 

76 Account of Miraciilous Discovery. 

heretics to deny the truth of this venerable Sacrament. 
At that time Almighty God was pleased to work many 
miracles to confound their incredulity, which I have 
inserted in the book just mentioned (chap. 10, n. 36, 
37). Nevertheless, there are not wanting certain critical 
spirits who altogether refuse to believe these ancient 
accounts, and say, " But who saw them ?" Now, if such 
a one should doubt the fact which I have now related, 
and which was proved with such exactness in the archi- 
episcopal court of Naples, he can easily certify himself 
of the truth of it by going to the town of St. Pietro a 
Paterno, which is not far from the city, w r here he will 
find many lay persons and ecclesiastics who will assure 
him that they beheld with their own eyes the prodigies 
here related. 

For the rest, let others say what they please: for my 
own part, I hold the fact to be more than certain, and 
therefore I wished to make it known by publishing an 
account of it. It is true that the miracle here described 
does not call for any other than mere human faith; 
nevertheless, of all such facts grounded on human faith 
I do not know if there be one that is more deserving of 
belief than this that I have related, considering the ex 
treme care with which the information was taken by the 
Neapolitan court, and the evidence, not of credulous 
women, but of seventeen men, lay and ecclesiastics, who 
judicially deposed on oath all that they had seen with 
their own eyes. All these circumstances, which are so 
many marks of truth, make the fact more than morally 
certain. Hence I hope that all those that read this 
account will not be disinclined to believe it, but will do 
what they can to make it known, for the glory of the 
Most Holy Sacrament of the Altar. 

(Ecrcmonics of tl)c 

FATHER TANNOIA (B. ii. ch. 1.) speaks of a work that 
St. Alphonsus caused to be printed at Naples in 1761, 
on the manner of celebrating Mass conformably to the 
Rubrics, and on the faults that are ordinarily committed, 
with exhortations on the disposition requisite for cele 
brating Mass worthily, and with affections for prepara 
tion and thanksgiving for every day of the week. This 
is a work that Cardinal Villecourt (1. vi. p. i, ch. 5 et 6), 
in his " Tableaux Chronologiques," under the same year 
1761, designates thus: u Ceremonies of the Mass, followed 
by acts of preparation and thanksgiving." In another 
place (1. iii. ch. 42) we also see that our saint, towards 
the end of 1768, had a work printed, entitled "Ceremo 
nies of the Mass," and divided into two parts: in the 
first he explains the Rubrics, and points out the ordi 
nary faults; in the second he treats of the preparation 
and thanksgiving. We think that there is here question 
of a simple .reprint of the work published in 1761, to 
which the author added in 1768, as a third part, his 
dissertation on the Honoraria of Masses, of which Father 
Tannoia afterwards speaks. ED. 


IN the following pages, which treat of the Ceremo 
nies of the Mass, we have thought it very useful to quote 
at the head of each article the text of the Rubric of the 
Missal, which our author only explains. Both the text 
and its commentary are needed so as to elucidate and 
supplement each other; and experience proves that one 
neglects too often what it is important that one should 
know before all things. 

In the many notes we have endeavored to give all the 
latest decisions of the Sacred Congregation of Rites. 
It must be observed that in this treatise there is ques 
tion only of the celebration of private Mass. 

We have added an Appendix in ten articles, which 
speak of the Altar and its ornaments, the Chalice and 
its accessories, the Vestments, the Matter and Form of 
the Sacrament, the Disposition of the celebrant, the 
Accidents that may occur, the Place and the Time of 
celebrating Mass, the Server of Mass. All this is drawn 
from the Rubrics of the Missal, and from the Moral 
Theology of our author, with some notes. We subjoin 
an article on the Mass celebrated in a strange church. 

We have added another treatise of the holy bishop 
in which he speaks of the Honoraria of Masses; of the 
abuses connected therewith, and the means proposed to 
remedy them; of public Masses with offerings, and pri 
vate Masses with stipends; of the use of unleavened and 
leavened bread; of the Value and Application of the 
fruit of the Mass; and of privileged Altars.--ED. 




i. Preparatory Acts. 

"Sacerdos celebraturus Missam, prsevia confessione sacra- 
mentali, quando opus est, et saltern Matutino cum Laudibtis 
absolute, orationi aliquantulum vacet, et orationes inferius 
positas pro temporis opportunitate dicat." (Rub. Miss. tit. I. 
n. i.) 

THE priest who wishes to say Mass should previously 
have recited at least Matins and Lauds, and this under 
pain of venial sin, 1 according to the common opinion of 
theologians, against some who assert that it would be a 
mortal sin. This rule is founded on an ancient cus 
tom of the Church; for when Innocent IV. heard of the 
controversy raised on this point between the Archbishop 
of Nicosia and his Latin suffragans on the one side, and 
the Greek bishops of Cyprus on the other, he rendered 
this decision: " Sacerdos autem dicat Horas canonicas 
more suo; sed Missam celebrare, prius quam Officium 

1 " Ab hujusmodi autem culpa veniali excusabit quielibet mediocris 
causa rationabilis, puta: si dans eleemosynam postulet ut statim cele- 
bretur; si exspectet populus, aut aliqua persona gravis; si superior prae- 
cipiat, tempus celebrandi transeat, vel instet commoclitas studii, itine- 
ris, et similia." (Theol. mor. 1. 6, n. 347.) See also " Dispositions of 
the Celebrant," in the Appendix, VI. 

82 The Ceremonies of the Mass. 

matutinale compleverit, non presumat." 1 Benedict 
XIV. concludes that even a mortal sin may be committed 
if any one violates this rule habitually. He says: "Si 
quis nulla causa urgente, perpetuo id faceret, ut vide- 
retur quasi statuisse animo, numquam celebrare dicto 
Matutino cum Laudibus, turn cum doctis Auctoribus 
concludi posset, hujusmodi sacerdotem peccare mortal- 
iter." 2 

It is also proper that the priest should spend some 
time in mental prayer. If he wishes to confess, he should 
do so before putting on the sacred vestments. Then he 
should make the proximate preparation on which ordi 
narily depends all the actual devotion that one has 
during the celebration of Mass. Nothing is, therefore, 
better than to recite attentively the psalms and the 
prayers that are printed for this purpose in the tablet 
containing the preparatory acts. 3 

2. The Preparing of the Missal and the Washing of Hands. 

" Deindc, accedit ad locum in sacristia, vel alibi praeparatum, 
ubi paramenta aliaque ad celebrationem neccssaria habentur; 
accipit Missale, perquirit Missam, perlegit, et signacula ordinal 
ad ea quse dicturus est. Postea, lavat manus, dicens orationem 
inferius positam." (Rub. Miss. tit. I. n. i.) 

After this preparation the priest takes the Missal, 
searches for the Mass that he wishes to say, and ar- 

1 Epist. ad Otton. card. Tnsc. 

2 De Sacrif. Misste, 1. 3, c. 13, n. 4. 

" Dubitatur an sit veniale, omittere orationes ante vel post Missam. 
Communiter negant, quia in Rubrica non adest de illis prseceptum, 
sed tantum insinuatio, cum ibi, in pneparatione Missae, solummodo 
dicatur: Orationes pro temporis opportunitate (hoc est, commoditate) 
dicendse. Hoc tamen non obstante, Sacerdotem, qui sine ulla prs- 
paratione, saltern domi facta, ad sacrificandum accederet, puto ab aliqua 
culpa non excusandum." (Theol. mor. \. 6, n. 410.) Our author does 
not comprise among these prayers of mere counsel those that one recites 
in putting on the vestments, nor those that one should say at the end 
of Mass, Ch. XI. n. 14; they do not bear the title Pro temporis oppor- 
lunitate, but arc positively prescribed. 

CHAP, i.] Before Going to the Altar. 83 

ranges the book-marks in their proper places; he also 
prepares the sacred vestments. 

Then he washes his hands, 1 saying in a low voice the 
following prayer: 

Da, Dominc, virtittem inanibus vicis ad abstergendam 
omncm maculam, ut sine pollutione mentis et corporis valcam 
tibi servire. 

It must be observed that, according to the common 
opinion of theologians, the omission of this prayer, as 
also of the other prayers which the celebrant says while 
putting on the sacred vestments, is not a grave fault; 
yet it cannot be excused at least from a venial sin. 

3. The Preparing of the Chalice. 

" Deinde, prseparat calicem, qui debet essc vel atireus, vel 
argenteus, aut saltern haberecuppam argenteam intus inauratam, 
et simul cum patena itidem inaurata, ab Episcopo consecratus ; 
super ejus os ponit purificatorium mundum, et super illud pate- 
nam cum hostia integra, quam leviter extergit, si opus est, a 
fragmentis, et earn tegit parva palla linea, turn velo serico, super 
velo ponit bursam colons paramentorum, intus habentern corpo- 
rale plicatum, quod ex lino tanturn esse debet, ncc serico vel 
auro in medio intextum, sed totum album ; et ab Episcopo, vel 
alio habente facultatem, simul cum palla benedictum." (Rub. 
Miss. tit. I. n. i.) 

After having washed his hands, he prepares the chal 
ice; 2 he himself places the host on the paten, but before 

1 De Hcrdt (s. Liturg.prax. torn. I. n. 195) teaches that the priest 
should wash his hands and not merely his fingers, as he does at the 
Lavabo of the Mass. " Lotio manuum ante Missam debet fieri saltern 
subveniali; et sub gravi, si manus sint valde immundae, propter reve- 
rentiam Sacrificii." (Theol. mor. 1. 6, n. 409.) 

2 He places the purificator directly upon the chalice; and if he carries 
with him a small spoon with which he may put a little water into the 
chalice at the Offertory, as such a thing is allowed (S. R. C. , Febr. 6, 
1858), he places it on the purificator. See Appendix: The Chalice and 
its Accessories, 111.; and the permission to touch the sacred vessels, 


84 The Ceremonies of the Mass. 

doing so he should lightly pass his thumb and forefinger 
around the edge, so that the loose particles may be re 

He then covers the paten with the pall, the upper part 
of which, according to the S. R. C., 1 must not be covered 
with silk. 

Upon the pall he puts the veil, which is to be spread 
out in front in such a mariner that it covers the foot of 
the chalice, and has folds at the sides, not in front, so 
that it may be more easily folded when the chalice is to 
be uncovered. 

Upon the veil he places the burse, so that its opening 
is towards the celebrant when he carries the chalice, 
and he turns over upon the burse the border of the veil 
in order to be able to hold the chalice more conveniently. 
The burse should contain the corporal; otherwise, says 
Gavantus, 2 the burse would be useless. One should not 
carry the corporal upon the veil outside of the burse with 
out an apostolic dispensation; see Gavantus and Merati. 3 

It must be observed that, according to the teaching 
of theologians, it would be a grave sin to celebrate with 
a corporal that is very much soiled; and Merati says 
the same thing in regard to the other vestments. To 
use a corporal that is a little soiled is a venial sin if one 
could easily procure another. The continuator of Tour- 
nely 4 says that, in case one could not otherwise say a 
Mass of precept, it would be permitted to use a corporal 
that is very much soiled. 

1 Deer. Jan. 22 , 1701. Nevertheless, later on, the question was 
again asked in these words: " An, non obstantibus decretis a Sacra 
Ritimm Congregatione editis, uti liceat palla a parte superiori panno 
serico cooperta? and the Congregation answered, January 10, 1852: 
Permitti posse, dummodo palla linea subnexa calicem cooperiat, ac 
pannus superior non sit nigri coloris aut referat aliqua mortis signa. 

5 In Rubr. Miss. p. 2, t. I, litt. o. 

3 Merati, In Ruhr. Miss. p. 2, t. 2, n. 12. 

4 De Euchar. p. 2, c. 9, a. 2, s. 8. 

CHAP, i.] Before Going to the Altar. 85 

It must also be observed that there should be no cross 
in the middle of the corporal; but a cross is permitted 
near the border of the anterior part, where one may kiss 
it when the altar is to be kissed. 

It is, moreover, to be remarked, that it is not allowed 
to place upon the chalice one s pocket-handkerchief or 
anything else; and so also upon the altar nothing is to 
be placed that does not appertain to the Mass. 1 

4. The Priest about to Put on the Sacred Vestments. 

"Quibus ita dispositis, accedit ad paramenta, quae non debent 
esse lacera, aut scissa, sed Integra, et decenter munda, ac pulchra, 
et ab Episcopo itidem, vel alio facultatem habente, benedicta; 
nbi calceatus pedibus, et indutus vestibus sibi convenientibus, 
quarum exterior saltern talum pedis attingat, induit se, si sit Prae- 
latus saecularis, supra rochettum, si sit Praelatus regularis, vel 
alius Sacerdos saecularis supra superpelliceum, si commode 
haberi possit, alioquin sine eo supra vestes communes, dicens 
ad singula singulas orationes inferius positas." (Rub. Miss. tit. 
I. art. 2.) 

After having thus prepared everything, the priest 
goes to the place where the vestments are kept. These 
should be kept in the sacristy, or at least, 2 as is per 
mitted by theologians, at the corner of the altar on the 
Gospel side; for the right of vesting at the middle of 
the altar is permitted only to bishops and to cardinals; 
this right is also granted to prelates who have the privi 
lege of celebrating pontifically, but to the latter only 
when they use this faculty. 3 

If at the moment in which he is about to vest he 
wishes to make the sign of the cross, he should do so 

1 Rubr. gen. tit. xx. 

2 That is to say, in case of necessity, when, for example, there is no 
sacristy. The vestments, however, cannot be taken to the altar on 
which the Blessed Sacrament is publicly exposed, as the Ceremonial* 
Episropornm directs. 

8 S. R. C., Sept. 27, 1659. 

86 The Ceremonies of the Mass. 

before taking the amice; such is the opinion of Bauldry 
and Tonellius. 

5. He Puts on the Amice. 

" Ac primum accipiens amictum circa extremitates et chor- 
dulas, osculatur illud in medio, ubi est crux, et ponit super caput, 
et mox declinat ad collum, et, eo vestium collaria circumtegens, 
ducit chordulas sub brachiis, et circumducens per dorsum ante 
pectus reducit et ligat." {Rub. Miss. tit. I. art. 3.) 

He takes at first the amice at both ends and kisses it 
where the cross is. If there is no cross in the middle of 
the amice, and no other amice can be had, Merati says, 
he should form a cross with his thumb and then kiss 
it. 1 To kiss the cross conveniently, let him place his 
left hand under the middle of the amice, holding in the 
mean time its two ends. Let him raise the amice to his 
mouth so that he may kiss the cross. Then raising the 
amice at his left he puts it on his head. After he has 
rested the amice on his head, he lowers it and arranges 
it around his neck, so that his collar may be entirely 
covered by it. Then he crosses the strings on his breast, 
passing the right over the left; and bringing them under 
his arms, he passes each to the other side behind his 
back, brings them in front, and then ties them on the 

The following is the prayer that he should say while 
putting on the amice: 

Impone, Domine, capiti meo galeam salutis, ad expugnandos 
diabolicos incursus. 

6. The Alb. 

"Turn alba induitur, caput submittens, deinde manicam dex- 
tram brachio dextro, et sinistram sinistro imponens, albam 

1 Baldeschi remarks that this opinion of Merati is contrary to the 
Rubric of the Missal, as we may see further on, Ch. IV. n. i, where we 
read: "In omni deosculatione, sive altaris, sive libri, sive alterius rei, 
non producitur signum crucis pollice vel manu super id quod osculandum 
est." Hence the forming of the cross may be omitted. 

CHAP, i.] Before Going to the Altar. 87 

ipsam corpori adaptat, elevat ante, et a lateribus hinc inde; et 
cingulo per ministrum a tergo sibi porrecto, se cingit. Minister 
elevat albam super cingulum circumcirca, ut honeste dependeat 
et tegat vestes ; ac ejus fimbrias diligenter aptat, ut ad latitudi- 
nem digiti vel circiter, super terram aequaliter fluat." (Rub. 
Miss. tit. I. art 3.) 

Then he puts on the alb. If any one presents it to 
him, he inclines his head a little, holding his hands joined 
while receiving it. He next lets the right side of the 
alb fall to the floor, holding the other side on his left 
arm, so that the left hand may be freer to vest the right 
arm, which should always be vested first. Then he lets 
fall the left side of the alb, and the right hand aids in 
vesting the left arm 

While putting on the alb the priest says: 

Dealba me, Dominc, et munda cor meum, ut, in sanguine 
Agni dealbatus, gaudiis perfruar scmpiternis. 

He then girds himself with the cincture, saying: 

Prcccinge me, Do mine, cingulo puritatis, et exstingue in 
lumbis meis humorcm libidinis ut maneat in me virtus con- 
tinenthe et castitatis. 

It is better that the cincture should be made of linen 
[rather than of silk ], and it may be of the color of the 
vestments. 2 

Rubricists wish the alb to be tied as soon as it is let 
down, and then to be adjusted. According to present 
usage the priest with both hands arranges at first the 
front part, so that it hangs at an equal distance above 
the shoes, and then only he girds himself. 

The cincture, which should be doubled, is taken on 
the right side, and so tied that the tassels at the right 
side hang down as long as possible for fastening the 

1 " Congruentius uti cingulo lineo," ut S. R. C. die 22 Januarii 1701 
cleclaravit. Novissime autem permisit S. R. C. ut etiam cingula lanea 
licite adhiberi possent. Die 23 Dec. 1862, in una Ord. Carthus., n. 5326. 

2 S. R. C., June 8, 1709. 

88 The Ceremonies of the Mass. 

stole. During this time the server should adjust the 
alb behind in such a way that it hangs equally distant 
above the feet and covers the cassock. 

7. The Maniple. 

" Sacerdos accipit manipulum, osculatur crucem in medio, et 
imponit brachio sinistro." (Rub. Miss. tit. I. art. 3.) 

He takes the maniple and kisses the cross that is in 
the middle of it; he passes it over his left arm and 
fastens it near his elbow, so that it may not hinder him 
in his functions. 

He says at the same time: 

Merear^ Domine, portare manipulum fletus et doloris, ut 
cum exsultatione recipiam mercedem laboris. 

8. The Stole. 

" Deinde, ambabus manibus accipiens stolam, simili modo 
deosculatur, et imponit medium ejus collo ; ac transversando 
earn ante pectus in modum crucis, ducit partem a sinistro hu 
mero pendentem ad dextram, et partem a dextro humero pen- 
dentem ad sinistram ; sicque utramque partem stolae exremita- 
tibus cinguli, hinc inde ipsi cingulo conjungit." (Rub. Miss. tit. 
I. art. 3.) 

He takes tne stole with both hands, that is, between 
his thumbs and forefingers, so that the hands are distant 
from each other about a palm; 1 he kisses the cross that 
is in the middle of the stole, and separates his hands 
from each other about two palms and a half, and thus 
he will be able to place the stole upon his shoulders. 
Then he puts the right part over the left so that a cross 
is formed on his breast; he next takes with both hands 
the ends of the stole, and draws it down as far as his 
hands will reach, because in this way the cross will 
come just at the middle of the neck. This done, he 
fastens the stole at the sides with both ends of the 

1 The palm or span is equal to nine inches. ED. 

CHAP, i.] Before Going to the Altar. 89 

While putting on the stole the priest says: 

Rcdde mihi, Dominc, stolam immortalitatis, quam perdidi in 
prccvaricatione primi parentis; ct quamvis indignus accedo 
ad tuum sacrum mysterium. merear tamen gaudiitm sempi- 

Merati, with many others, makes the remark that the 
stole be so adjusted that the cross is covered by the 
chasuble ; hence in many churches in which the sacred 
rites are strictly observed there is fastened to the middle 
of the stole a band that is tied to the cincture below 
the shoulders, so that the stole cannot rise above the 
chasuble nor above the neck. 1 

9. The Chasuble. 

" Postremo, Sacerdos accipit planetam." (Rub. Miss. tit. I. 
art. 3.) 

Lastly, the priest puts on the chasuble and takes care 
to arrange it not only around the neck and shoulders by 
drawing down the back part of it with both hands so 
that there may be no folds, but that it be also adjusted 
in front by fastening it with the strings underneath it. 

He says while putting on the chasuble: 

Do/nine, qui dtxisti : Jugiun meum suave cst, ct omis mcum 
leve; -fac ut istud portare sic valeatn, quod conscquar tucun 
gratiaui. Amen. 

If he wishes to carry with him a pocket-handkerchief, 
he should fasten it to his cincture, but under the chas 
uble in such a manner that it may be entirely hidden 
from view. 2 

It must be observed that the priest while vesting 
should not speak to any one; he should pay attention 

1 At the present time this is done nowhere. Martinvcci, I c. n. 13, 
reckons it among the faults to throw the stole over the head down the 
back without arranging it at the neck, so that the cross which is in the 
middle may appear above the chasuble. 

2 A white handkerchief is more becoming. 

go The Ceremonies of the Mass. 

to recite devoutly and in a low voice the prescribed 
prayers by reflecting on the mysteries represented by 
the sacred vestments. 1 

* ! The following is, according to Fornici, the mystical signification at 
tached by the Church to the priestly ornaments ; the priest would do 
well to think of it while vesting in order the better to represent the per 
son of Jesus Christ at the altar: "Ad revocandos in memoriam Passionis 
mysteria, amictus mystice significat, aut velum quo Judaei Christi faciem 
obtexerunt, aut coronam spineam, aut ipsius divinitatem sub humani- 
tatis amictu absconditam; alba illam vestem figurat, qua indutum Chris 
tum Jesum Herodes irrisit; cingulum in horto Christum fune ligatum; 
manipulus vincula proponit contemplanda quibus Salvator columnae fuit 
ad flagellandum alligatus; stola, juxtaSoto, funes quibus Christus, crucem 
bajulans, constrictus est; casula tandem, aut vestimentum purpureum 
coram Pilato, aut vestem inconsutilem quam Christo, cruci affigendo, 
Judaei detraxerunt. " 

As for the quality of the vestments, see Appendix, IV. 

CH. ii.] Leaving Sacristy, Arriving at tJie Altar. 91 



i. The Priest takes the Chalice and proceeds to leave the 

" Sacerdos, omnibus paramentis indutus, accipit manu sinistra 
calicem ut supra praeparatum, quern portal elevatum ante pec- 
tus, bursam manu dextra super calicem tenens, et facta rever- 
entia cruci vel imagini illi quse in sacristia erit, capite cooperto, 
accedit ad altare, ministro cum Missali et aliis ad celebrandum 
necessariis (nisi ante fuerint piseparata) prsecedente, superpel- 
liceo induto." 1 (Rub. Miss. tit. II. art. i.) 

WHEN the priest is vested he puts on the biretta, 
makes the sign of the cross (this is, however, not pre 
scribed by the Rubric). According to Tonellius, before 
taking the chalice he should with uncovered head salute 
the other priests. 

It is true Merati contradicts this opinion of Tonellius, 
because by uncovering the head greater reverence would 
be paid to priests than to the crucifix, which is saluted 
with the head covered. But to this we may easily reply 
that the priest with his head covered shows reverence to, 
the crucifix for the reason that he is holding the chalice, 
and he would run an evident risk of throwing it down 
if he desired to uncover his head while bowing pro 
foundly. In fact, if the priest were not carrying the 
chalice, he would have to make a bow to the crucifix 
with uncovered head. 

He takes the chalice by the knob (ad nodum) [accord- 
1 As to the server, see Appendix, X. 

92 The Ceremonies of the Mass. 

ing to the Rubric farther on], although it seems to me 
that they are not wrong that take it below the cup, 
namely, between the thumb and third finger, holding 
the cup with the other fingers, as in this way he can 
avoid all danger of throwing it down, the more so since 
the hand is covered by the veil. [And, moreover, this 
Rubric is not preceptive, since it treats of matters that 
are done outside of the Mass.] 

Holding the chalice with the left hand, he places the 
right hand on the burse, the opening of which should be 
turned towards himself. Upon the burse there should 
not be placed either handkerchief, spectacles, the key of 
the tabernacle, or anything similar, as the S. R. C., 
Sept. i, 1703, declared. He holds the chalice before his 
breast, carrying it in such a way that he neither touches 
his breast nor has it far removed from it. 

Having then taken the chalice, he makes a profound 
reverence or bow to the crucifix or image that is in the 
sacristy. He does not uncover the head unless the 
chalice has already been carried to the altar. He shall 
walk gravely and modestly, with his eyes cast down, 
and the chalice should be carried at such a height that 
he may see his way beyond it. It must be observed that 
the right hand is so to be stretched out upon the burse 
that the fingers be united, that the elbow be not raised, 
but that it rest against the body. 

But as there is question here of reverences, we must 
know that besides the prostration and genuflection three 
modes of reverences are to be distinguished, which are 
called inclinations, namely, the profound, the moderate, 
and the simple. The profound inclination is made when 
any one standing inclines his head and shoulders in such 

1 In the Rubric of the Missal it is not said whether the reverence is to 
be profound or moderate. Authors agree that the profound is to be 
made to the cross or image of the crucifix; the moderate, to the image 
of the Blessed Virgin; but the simple, to the image of the other saints. 

en. ii.] Leaving Sacristy, Arriving at the Altar. 93 

a way that he can touch his knees with both hands. 
The moderate is made when any one inclines moderately 
the head and the shoulders. The simple is made if only 
the head is inclined. This last inclination is again 
divided into three kinds minimarum maxima, minimarum 
media, minimarum minima: they correspond to a triple 
cult of latria, hyperdulia, and dulia. The first (mini 
marum maxima) consists in a profound inclination of the 
head, with a slight movement of the shoulders: it is made 
at the Gloria Patri, and at the name God 1 and Jesus. The 
second (minimarum media) consists in notably inclining 
the head only, and is made when the name of Mary is 
pronounced. The third (minimarum minima) is a simple 
inclination of the head, and is made when the name of 
any saint or of the living Pope is mentioned. 

2. The Priest goes from the Sacristy to the Altar. 

"Procedit autem, oculis demissis, incessu gravi, erecto cor- 
pore. Si vero contigerit eum transire ante altare majus, capitc 
cooperto facial ad illud reverentiam ; si ante altare ubi cele- 
bretur Missa, in qua elevatur vel tune ministratur Sacramentum, 
similiter genuflectat, et detecto capite illud adorat, nee ante sur- 
gat, quam celebrans deposuerit Calicem super corporale." (Rub. 
Miss. tit. II. c. i.) 

After having, therefore, made a bow to the cross or to 
another image, he proceeds to the altar, walking with 
gravity and modesty, with his eyes cast down. 3 

There are theologians that say that while going to the 
altar one may recite the Miserere; but others deny this, 
because the Rubric does not speak of it. 3 

1 The head is inclined when in the hymn Gloria in excelsis the word 
Deo is pronounced, and at Dcum in the symbol Credo in unum Deum. 

* The custom generally followed in Rome is that the priest when leav 
ing the sacristy takes holy water and makes the sign of the cross. The 
Congregation of Rites, consulted on this practice, answered, March 27, 
1779: "Si commode fieri potest, se signet; sin minus, se abstineat." 
It would be well for the server to present holy water to the priest. 

3 Among the faults committed at Mass St. Alphonsus enumerates this 

94 The Ceremonies of the Mass. 

If he passes before an altar where the Blessed Sacra 
ment is exposed he should kneel down on both knees 
(although Bauldry and others say that he need bend 
only one knee); then he uncovers his head and gives the 
biretta to the server, or, according to the opinion of Me- 
rati and of others, he holds it downward in his right 
hand, with the open side turned towards himself; 1 after 
having adored our Lord by a profound inclination of 
the head, he puts on his biretta and rises. He does the 
same thing when he meets a priest carrying the Blessed 

If he passes before an altar at the moment of the Ele 
vation, he kneels down on both knees, as has been said 
above, and does not rise until the chalice [or ciborium] 
is placed on the altar. He does the same thing when 
Communion is distributed. When there is distribution 
of Communion he need not wait till it is finished (S. R. 
C, July 5, 1698). 

If he passes before an altar after the Consecration he 
makes a genuflection, takes off his biretta, and makes a 
profound bow; then he puts on his biretta and rises. It 
is also probable that he may make a simple genuflection 
without uncovering his head; for then the Blessed 
Sacrament, hidden on the altar, may be regarded as in 
closed in the tabernacle. Such is the practice at Rome, 
says Merati. 8 

If he passes before the main altar where the Blessed 
Sacrament is kept, he genuflects without taking off his 
biretta; if, however, only a cross is on the altar, he makes 

fault, namely: " E sacristia exeundo Psalmum Miserere recitare, quam- 
vis aliquam orationem mentaliter dicere possit." (See Chap. XVII. 
n. 2.) 

1 Martinucci, 1. i, c. 18, n. 21, says: "Manum oblique bursae impo- 
nens, ne quid a calice decidat." 

2 " Praxis Urbis est optima Rubricarum interpres. " (Schober, page 
18, note 13.) 

CH. ii.] Leaving Sacristy Arriving at the A Itar. 9 5 

a profound bow: this kind of bow is also made if there 
is exposed some remarkable relic of a saint whose feast 
is being celebrated, or who is held in high honor. When 
the relics are on the same altar on which is kept the 
Blessed Sacrament, it suffices for him to genuflect with 
out uncovering his head. 1 

If the priest passes through the choir while there is 
being sung the Gloria Patri, or another verse which 
requires an inclination of the head, he remains standing, 
and inclines reverently. If the clergy be present, he 
salutes them on both sides of the choir with head 

If he meets a priest who has just said Mass, he lets 
him pass on the right and salutes him, but without un 
covering and without stopping. 

If he passes before a Cardinal, or the Archbishop of the 
Province, or the Bishop of the diocese, or an Apostolic 
Legate, or a King, or some other great personage, he 
salutes him by a moderate inclination, without however 
uncovering his head. 

Finally, it must be observed that if the priest does not 
carry the chalice, he should go to the altar with his 
hands joined before his breast, and make all the rever 
ences with his head uncovered. 

3. The Priest arrives at the Altar. 

"Cum pervenerit ad altare, stans ante illius infimum gradum 
caput detegit, birretum ministro porrigit, et altari, seu imagini 
Crucifixi desuper positae, profunde inclinat. Si autem in eo sit 
tabernaculum Sanctissimi Sacramenti,genuflectens debitam facit 
reverentiam." (Rub. Miss. tit. II. n. 2.) 

1 As for the reverence due to the relic of the True Cross, the following 
is the decision that has been given: "Si loco principe reliquia Sanctis- 
simae Crucis super altare fuerit exposita, tune transeuntes ante illam, 
unico genu usque ad terram flexo, venerare debent ; diversimode vero 
solocapitis inclinatione, si praefata reliquia recondita erit in custodia." 
(S. R. C., 7 Mali 1746.) 

g6 The Ceremonies of the Mass. 

Having arrived at the altar, the priest stops at the 
foot of it, before the first step, uncovers his head, and 
gives the biretta to the server. 

If he also wears a skull-cap he must take it off, unless 
it is permitted him by an apostolic dispensation to wear 
it during Mass; in this case he may wear it till the Canon, 
and may put it on only after the Communion. It must 
be observed that no one, even if a bishop, is permitted 
to wear the skull-cap during Mass without an apostolical 
indult, as appears from several decrees cited by Gavan- 
tus (Part II. tit. 2, n. 2, lit. f), and from the decree ap 
proved by Urban VIII. and placed at the beginning of 
the Missal. 1 

He makes a profound inclination if the Blessed Sacra 
ment is not on the altar; for if it is there, he genuflects 
below, on the first step, as has been said above, without 
any other reverence of the head; this is in accordance 
with the common practice. 2 

4. The Priest ascends the Steps of the Altar whereon he 
places the Chalice. 

"Tune ascendit ad medium altaris, ubi ad cornu Evangelii 
sistit calicem, extrahit corporale de bursa, quod extendit in 
medio altaris, et super illud calicem velo coopertum collocat, 
bursam autem ad cornu Evangelii. Si in altari paramenta acci- 
pit, hoc idem facit, antequam descendat ab altari ut Missam 

" Si est consecraturus plures hostias pro communione facienda 
quse ob quantitatem super patena manere non possint, locat eas 
super corporale ante calicem, aut, in aliquo calice consecrate, 
vel vase mundo benedicto, ponit eas retro post calicem, et alia 
patena, seu palla cooperit." (Rub. Miss. tit. II. n. 2 et 3.) 

1 St. Alphonsus gives some other details on this subject in his Moral 
Theology, 1. 6, n. 396. 

2 This practice raised doubts, and the Congregation of Rites having 
been consulted, answered, November 12, 1831: " In accessu et recessu, 
in piano est genuflectendum ; in infimo autem gradu altaris, quoties 
genuflectere occurrat," 

CH. ii.] Leaving Sacristy, Arriving at tJie Altar. 97 

He then ascends the steps of the altar, in the middle, 
always beginning with the right foot. Having arrived 
at the middle of the altar, he puts the chalice on the 
Gospel side, 1 takes the burse with the left hand, and tak 
ing out of it the corporal with the right hand, he places 
it on the altar. Then with the left hand, which is al 
ready holding the burse, he places it on the Gospel side, 
and so places it between the candles that its opening be 
towards the Epistle side, and the wax of the candles may 
not fall upon it. 

Then with his two hands he extends the corporal upon 
the sacred stone, which is in the middle of the altar, so 
that its extremity is distant about the width of a finger 
from the front part of the altar. In this way there is no 
danger that the lace of the corporal will cling to the 
vestments of the priest, who in his movements might 
thus upset the chalice. If there is on the corporal an 
embroidered cross, this part should be placed in front 
so that he may kiss the cross when the altar is to be 

This done, the priest places the chalice on the corporal 
with both hands, that is, he holds with the left hand the 
foot of the chalice at the knob, and with the right he 
raises the veil by taking it at its extremity, and thus 
transfers the chalice, raised about half a palm from the 

1 Here no inclination to the cross is to be made (Schober, page 22, 
note 22). 

2 Baldeschi, p. I. art. 3, n. 27, recommends that the corporal be so 
extended that the last fold that is towards the celebrant and the front 
of the altar be the last opened; and the same be first closed, lest 
there be danger of losing the fragments that may have inadvertently 
remained. Bauldry, p. 3, tit. 2, n. 3, and Hagerer, tit. 2, n. 2, say 
that it is a fault against the Rubric not to unfold it immediately and to 
wait till the Offertory. The same must be said if any one does not 
open the front fold of the corporal, but keeps it closed till the Offertory; 
because the Rubric says nothing of this practice." (Schober, page 23, 
n. 23.) 


98 TJie Ceremonies of the Mass. 

Gospel side to the middle. When it is in the middle 
he raises a little the veil so that it may not slip under 
the foot of the chalice. He places the chalice more 
towards the back than towards the front, and the 
chalice should be covered on all sides with the veil, so 
that when he kisses the altar it may not be in the way; 
this is far more necessary after the Communion, because 
then the chalice is also covered with the burse. The 
chalice should always stand on the sacred stone, namely, 
in a direct line in the middle of the altar. It must be 
here remarked that without an apostolical dispensation 
the corporal should not be carried outside of the burse 
on the veil. See Gavantus, p. 2, n. i, lit. o, and Merati, 
p. 2, tit. 2, n. 12. 

If several particles are to be consecrated for the Com 
munion of the people, and they can be held on the paten 
(if they are few they can be placed on the paten below 
the large host), they are placed on the corporal before 
the chalice on the Gospel side, so that they may not be 
outside of the sacred stone; or they may be placed in 
a ciborium or another chalice, which is then put behind 
the chalice: if it is a chalice, it is to be covered with a 
pall; but if it is a ciborium, it should be covered with its 
own lid. 

5. The Priest opens the Missal, then descends to the Foot 
of the Altar. 

"Collocate calice in altari, accedit ad cornu Epistolae, Missale 
super cussino aperit, reperit Missam, et signacula suis locis ac- 
commodat. Delude, rediens ad medium altaris, facta primum 
Cruci reverentia, vertens se ad cornu Epistolae, descendit post 
infimum gradum altaris, ut ibi facial Confessionem." (Rub. 
Miss. tit. II. n. 4.) 

The chalice having thus been put in its place, the 
priest joins his hands and makes a simple (maxima) in- 


ii.] Lea ving Sacristy , A r riving at the A Ita r. 9 9 

clination to the cross; this he does whenever he leaves 
the middle of the altar or returns to the middle, 2 unless 
a little before his arrival or after his departure the Ru 
bric prescribes the kissing of the altar or the making of 
another inclination, as when the Credo is said. Im 
mediately after having made this reverence, he joins 
his hands, putting the right thumb over the left in the 
form of a cross, and goes to the Epistle corner. He 
opens the Missal, 3 again looks for the Mass that is to be 
said, 4 and having verified the book-marks, he returns to 
the middle of the altar with his hands joined before his 
breast. There he makes to the cross a moderate (not 
profound) reverence, according to the more common 

1 The Rubric of the Missal does not prescribe this inclination. (See 
Schober, page 24, n. 26.) 

2 The inclinations when the priest leaves the middle of the altar or 
returns to the middle must be omitted; for the Rubric prescribes the 
reverence only twice: (a) before the priest descends from the altar to 
begin Mass, " facta primum cruci reverentia," says the Rubric, part II. 
tit. 2, n. 4; and (b) if he passes before the middle of the altar, carrying 
the Missal himself, " caput cruci inclinat " (Rubr. tit. 6, n. i). Such is 
the practice in Rome (see Schober, page 24, note 27). 

3 Schober (page 26, n. 28) says: " Videant rectores ut bona Missalia 
habeant . . . requiritur, i. Adprobatio Ordinarii, qune attestari debet, 
editionem comparatam fuisse cum editione Romana et eidem conformem 
esse; 2, Ne sit antiquata sed ex recentioribus editionibus." 

What is to be thought of those that are accustomed nearly always to 
say the whole Canon by heart? Schober answers (page 27, n. 28): 
" Sine dubio in re tarn gravissima saltern interdum periculo lethaliter 
peccandi se exponunt. . . . Ipsa Rubrica saltern indirecte requirit ut 
Canon ex libro legatur. ... Si tamen quidam auctores requirunt, ut 
totus Canon ex libro legatur et non memoriter recitetur; id non ita 
rigide intelligi debet, ut aliqua pauca ejusdern verba, maxime quae cum 
gestibus conjuncta sunt, non possint memoriter recitari, dummodo probe 
sciantur, aut ex praecedenti obtutu bene recenterque fuerint memoriae 
trad ita." 

4 " An, in Missis privatis, permitti possit ministro aperire Missale et 
invenire Missam ?" To this question the Congregation of Rites an 
swered, September 7, 1816: " Negative, et serventur Rubricae." 

ioo The Ceremonies of the Mass. 

opinion, without raising the eyes to the cross, and with 
out stopping to say some prayer before descending from 
the altar. 

Having made a reverence to the cross, he moves to 
wards the Gospel side, that he may not turn his back to 
the cross or the tabernacle, and with his face towards 
the Epistle corner, his eyes cast down, and his hands 
joined before his breast, he descends to the foot of the 
altar below the lowest steps; the more altar steps there 
are, the more should he turn towards the Gospel side, 
in order that, descending in an oblique direction, he may 
find himself at the middle before the altar when he 
arrives at the lowest step. But if the altar has more 
than three steps he may remain standing on the third 
step, or upon the step that is more convenient. If, how 
ever, the altar has only one step, the priest moves back 
a little and remains standing on the floor below the 
lowest step. 

It must be remarked that the priest should not descend 
from the altar before the candles have been lighted. 1 

1 In regard to the number and quality of the candles required, see 
Moral Theology, 1. 6, n. 394. See also Appendix, II. n. 3. 

CHAP, in.] The Beginning of the Mass. 101 



I. The Priest, with his Hands joined, makes an Inclination 
or a Genuflection. 

"Sacerdos, cum primum descenderit sub infimum gradum 
altaris, convertit se ad ipsum altare, ubi stans in medio, junctis 
manibus ante pectus extensis et junctis pariter digitis, et pol- 
lice dextro super sinistrum posito in modum crucis (quod 
semper servatur. quando junguntur manus, praeterquam post 
Consecrationem) detecto capite, facta prius Cruci vel altari pro- 
funda reverentia, vel si in eo sit tabernaculum Sanctissimi Sac- 
ramenti, facta genuflexione, erectus incipit Missam." (Rub. 
Miss. tit. III. n. i.) 

THE priest having descended to the front of the last 
step, turns his face to the altar and stops in the middle, 
with his hands joined before his breast, without touch 
ing the chasuble; in order to do this more easily, he 
should keep his elbows nearer to the breast than to 
the sides. 

To join the hands, the fingers should be extended and 
joined, so that each finger touches the same finger of 
the other hand; for example, the forefinger of the right 
hand should touch the forefinger of the left hand, and 
so on with the other fingers. Moreover, the right thumb 
should be placed upon the left thumb in the form of a 
cross, so that there remains no space between the 
fingers. This should be observed every time that the 
hands are joined, except after the Consecration, when 
the thumbs and the forefingers are to be joined, and the 

IO2 The Ceremonies of the Mass. 

extremities of the fingers should be held more towards 
the face of the celebrant than towards the altar. 

He makes to the cross a profound inclination of the 
body or a genuflection, 1 if the Blessed Sacrament is in 
the tabernacle. 

When he genuflects, he lowers the knee near the heel 
of the left foot; and when he stands, the feet should be 
not far apart, but joined. 

2. The Priest makes the Sign of the Cross. 

" Stans igitur celebrans ante infimum gradum altaris, ut supra, 
producens manu dextra a fronte ad pectus signum Crucis, dicit 
intelligibili voce : hi nomine Pain s, et Filii, et Spiritus Sancti. 
Amen. Et postquam id dixerit, non debet advertere quemcum- 
que in alio altari celebrantem, etiamsi Sacramentum elevet, sed 
continuate prosequi Missam suam usque ad finem. Quod item 
observatur in Missa solemni, et simul etiam a ministris. 

"Cum seipsum signal, semper sinistram ponit infra pectus; in 
aliis benedictionibus cum est ad altare, et benedicit oblata, vel 
aliquid aliud, ponit earn super altare, nisi aliter notetur. Seip 
sum benedicens, vertit ad se palmarn manus dextrae, et, omnibus 
illius digitis junctis et extensis, a fronte ad pectus, et ab humcro 
sinistro ad dextrum, signum Crucis format. Si vero alios, vel 
rem aliquam benedicit, parvum digitum vertit ei cui benedicit, 
ac benedicendo, totam manum dextram extendit, omnibus illius 
digitis pariter junctis et extensis ; quod in omni benedictioue 
observatur." (Rub. Miss. tit. III. n. 4 et 5.) 

Then standing erect, he makes the sign of the cross, 
and holding the left hand below his breast, he signs 
himself with the right hand, moving it from the fore 
head to the breast and from the left shoulder to the 
right shoulder, saying in a loud voice: In nomine Patris, 
etc., and while saying Amen he joins his hands. 

It must be observed that the cross must be formed 
with the three fingers of the right hand that is extended; 

1 According to note 2, page 96, this genuflection is to be made on 
the lowest step. 

CHAP, in.] The Beginning of the 1\I ass 103 

but all the fingers should be joined, nor should the 
thumb be separated from the forefinger: and when the 
priest signs himself he turns the palm of the hand to 
wards his face; but if he makes the sign of the cross on 
the book, the palm is to be turned towards the book. 
Moreover, if he forms the cross only with one hand, he 
never holds the other that is not employed extended ii 
the air, but holds it either on his breast, or on the altar, 
or on the book: on the breast when he signs himself, or 
blesses the assistants or something that is near the altar, 
such as incense; or the book, when he signs the book: 
but he puts it on the altar when he makes the sign of 
the cross over anything that is placed on or near the 
altar; for instance, ashes, candles, palm, or the sub- 
deacon after the Epistle, etc. 

He places his hand also on the altar when he turns 
the leaves of the Missal, or while standing at the altar, 
he does some other action with one hand only. 

If, before the priest begins Mass, the Elevation happens 
to take place at a neighboring altar, while he is arranging 
the chalice and looking for the Mass, he continues to do 
what he is doing. Then he descends to the floor and 
kneels down on the lowest step. But if he has already 
made the sign of the cross, he no longer heeds what is 
done at the other altars; that is, he makes neither a 
genuflection nor an inclination. 

The celebrant should pay attention not to pronounce 
too fast what he is to say in a loud voice, so that what 
he says may be understood; nor should he pronounce it 
too slowly, lest those present might be annoyed. He 
should not spak so loud as to disturb the priests 
that are celebrating, or are engaged in hearing confes 
sions in the same church; 1 but his voice should be 

1 " Neque tarn submissa (voce), ut a circumstantibus audiri non pos- 
sit," adds the Rubric, p. I. tit. XVI. n. 2. Conf. theol. mor. S. Alph. 
lib. 6, n. 403. 

1 04 The Ceremonies of the Mass. 

grave, uniform, clear, and intelligible, so that those who 
are not far from the altar may understand him, and may 
be excited to devotion. What is to be said in a low 
tone, he should pronounce in such a manner that the celebrant 
may hear himself, and may not be heard by those around the 
altar, according to the Rubric. The obligation of thus 
varying the voice binds under pain at least of venial sin, 
against the opinion of a few who falsely suppose that 
such Rubrics are not preceptive, although, as we have 
remarked above, all the Rubrics to be observed within 
the Mass are preceptive, and bind even under a grave 
fault, if the matter is grave. 1 

3. The Priest recites the Psalm Judica Me. 

" Postquam dixerit : In nomine Patris, etc., ut supra ; jungens 
iterum manus ante pectus, pronuntiat clara voce antiphonam, 
Introibo ad Altare Dei. Minister vero retro post eum ad sinis- 
tram genuflexus et in Missa solemni ministri, hinc inde stantes 
prosequuntur : Ad Deum, qui Icetificatjuventutem meam. Deinde 
Sacerdos, eodem modo stans, incipit, et prosequitur cum minis- 
tro, alternating psalmum Judica me Dens, usque ad finem, cum 
Gloria Patri. Quo finito repetit antiphonam Introibo, cum 
ministris, ut supra. Qui Psalmus nunquam praetermittitur, nisi 
in Missis Defunctorum, et in Missis de Tempore a Dominica 
Passionis inclusive usque ad Sabbatum Sanctum exclusive : in 
quibus semel tantum dicta antiphona Introibo cum ministris, ut 
supra, Sacerdos statim subjungit: V. Adjutorium nostrum, etc., 
ut infra. Cum in fine Psalmi dicit, Gloria Patri, etc., caput 
Cruci inclinat. 

" Repetita antiphona Introibo, dextra manu producens signum 
Crucis a fronte ad pectus, dicit: V. Adjutorium nostrum in no 
mine Domini; R. Qui fecit ccehtm et terrain." (Rub. Miss. tit. 
III. n. 6 et 7.) 

The priest says in a clear and intelligible voice the 
antiphon Introibo ad Altare Dei and the psalm Judica as 
far as the prayer Aufer, etc. In the mean time he repre- 

1 See Theol. Moral, lib. 6, n. 413. 

CHAP, mi The Beginning of the Mass. 105 

sents to his mind the end to which all the rest of his 
actions should be directed, that is to say, to the offering 
of the sacrifice, the dignity and sanctity of which sur 
pass all that one can imagine. The psalm Judica is 
omitted in the Masses of the Dead, and from Passion 
Sunday inclusively to Holy Saturday exclusively. But 
on the feasts of the saints that fall within Passion Week 
this psalm must be said, as also in the votive Masses 
that are celebrated in the same week, even if the votive 
Masses are de Passione or de Cruce. 

At the Gloria Patri a simple inclination of the head is 
made, which is called, as has been mentioned above, 
minimarum maxima: this should always be observed 
when this versick is recited. 

After having repeated the antiphon Introibo, he signs 
himself with the sign of the cross, saying, Adjutorium 
nostrum in nomine Domini; these words are so distributed 
that when he says Adjutorium, the hand touches the fore 
head; when he says nostrum, the breast; when he says in 
nomine, the left shoulder; and when Domine, the right 

4. The Priest recites the Confiteor and what follows it, as 
far as the Prayer Aufer a Nobis. 

" Deinde, altari se profunde inclinans, junctis manibus dicit 
Confiteor Deo, ut in ordine Missae ; et prosequitur, eodem modo 
stans inclinatus, donee a ministro vel ministris dictum sit Mis- 
ereatur; cum incipitur a ministris Confiteor se erigit. Cum 
dicit Mea culpa, ter pectus dextra manu percutit, sinistra infra 
pectus posita. 

" Facta a circumstantibus confessione, Celebrans stans re- 
spondet Misereatur vestri, etc. Deinde producens manu dex 
tra a fronte ad pectus signum Crucis, dicit : Indulgentiam, etc. 
Et stans inclinatus junctis manibus prosequitur,/?^/^ tu con- 
verstts, et quae sequuntur in Ordine Missae, clara voce usque ad 
Orationem, Aufera no&is>etc.; etcum dicit Orewus, extendit et 
jungit manus." (Rub. Miss. tit. Ill, n. 7 and 10.) 

io6 The Ceremonies of the Mass. 

When he says the Confiteor he holds his hands joined, 
as has been said above, 1 and he inclines so profoundly 
that he can touch the knees with his hands; he re 
mains thus inclined till the Misereatur tui, etc., has been 
said; then he answers Amen, and assumes an erect pos 

It is not permitted while saying the Confiteor to add 
the name of another saint, or even of a patron; 2 nor 
when he says vobis fratres and vos fratres should he turn 
to the server. 3 But in a solemn Mass, when the cele 
brant says vobis fratres and vos fratres, he should turn a 
little towards the ministers; and he observes the same 
thing while saying the Misereatur, according to the 
opinion of Gavantus, Rub. 12. 

When he says Mea culpa, etc., he strikes his breast 
three times with all the fingers of the right hand joined 
together, holding his left below the breast. Merati 
does not disapprove of the practice of striking the 
breast with the open palm of the hand, but the common 
opinion wishes that the fingers be joined together. It 
must be here observed that the breast should not be 
struck with great violence. Having said mca maxima 
culpa, he immediately joins his hands. 

After the server has finished the Confiteor, the cele 
brant continues saying Misereatur vestri, etc.; and when 
he says Indulgentiam he signs himself with the cross, so 
arranging the words that at Indulgentiam he touches 
his forehead; at absolutionem, his breast; at remissionem, 

1 Page 93. 

2 There are various decrees forbidding the adding to the Confiteor of 
the name of a saint. However, the S. C. R., through a special favor, 
has allowed religious communities to use the name of the founder. If 
the priest celebrates without a server, he should not say the Confiteor 

3 According to the Rubric of the Mass which is celebrated by a 
bishop, it is not allowed the ministers to say: tibi vel te Reverendissime 

CHAP, in.] The Beginning of the Mass. 107 

his left shoulder; at pcccatorum nostrorum, his right; and 
at tribuat, etc., he joins his hands. 

Afterwards the celebrant with his hands joined before 
his breast remains moderately inclined, and says: Deus 
tu conversus, etc. It must be .remarked that these ver- 
sicles should not be said too fast, as some priests and 
servers are accustomed to do; for it is not proper for 
one to begin before the other finishes. And if the ser 
ver does not know the words, the celebrant should sup 
ply them. He does not stand erect until he has said 
Oremus; but while saying Oremus he opens his hands 
and again joins them. 

Then standing erect, he says in a low voice Aitfer, 
and ascends the altar, raising at first the right foot, and 
slowly ascends so that when he reaches the middle of 
the altar he has finished the prayer. 

io8 The Ceremonies of the Mass. 



i. The Priest says the Prayer Oramus te, and kisses the 

" Dum dicit: Aufer a nodi s, etc., celebrans junctis manibus, 
ascendit ad medium altaris ; et ibi inclinatus, manibusque item 
junctis super eo positis, ita ut digit! parvi dumtaxat frontem, 
seu medium anterioris partis tabulae seu mensae altaris tangant, 
residue manuum inter altare et se retento, pollice dextro super 
sinistrum in modum crucis posito (quae omnia semper observan- 
tur cum manus junctae super altare ponuntur), secreto dicit: 
Oramus te Domz ne, etc.; et cum dicit: Quorum reliquics hie 
stmt, osculatur altare in medio, manibus extensis aequaliter hinc 
inde super eo positis; quod semper servatur, quando osculatur 
altare : sed post Consecrationem pollices ab indicibus non dis- 
junguntur. In omni etiam deosculatione, sive altaris, sive libri > 
sive alterius rei, non producitur signum crucis, pollice vel manu, 
super id quod osculandum est." (Rub. Miss. tit. IV. n. I.) 

HAVING arrived at the middle of the altar, the priest 
inclines moderately and places his hands joined on the 
altar, so that the small fingers touch the front of the 
altar, and the other fingers rest on the edge, the right 
thumb being held on the left in the form of a cross. This 
should always be observed as often as it is prescribed 
that he should place his hands joined on the altar, even 
after the Consecration; but then in this case the thumbs 
should never be disjoined from the forefingers. Care 
should be taken that the little fingers that touch the 
front part of the altar be not separated from the other 

CHAP, iv.] Introit, Kyrie, and Gloria. 109 

He recites in this posture Oramus te Dornine, etc. 
When he says Quorum Reliquite hie sunt, he extends his 
hands, which he puts on the altar as far as the wrist, 
on both sides, a little outside of the corporal, and bend 
ing his head in a straight line he kisses the altar in the 
middle, and not on the side. This he should always do 
when the altar is to be kissed; but after the Conse 
cration the hands are placed on the corporal. In order 
that the altar may be more easily kissed, it will be 
necessary to move back about a foot; this is also to be 
observed when a moderate or profound inclination or a 
genuflection is to be made. Care must be taken to kiss 
the altar; for some, in order to avoid the inconvenience 
that they feel in bending the head as far as the altar, 
kiss the air; this a great fault. 

2. The Priest reads the Introit, and recites the Kyrie eleison. 

" Osculato altari, accedit ad cornu ejus sinistrum, id est, 
Epistolae ; ubi, stans versus altare, et producens a fronte 
ad pectus signum Crucis, incipit intelligibili voce Introittim 
Missae, et prosequitur junctis manibus. Cum dicit Gloria 
Patri tenens junctas manus, caput inclinat versus Crucem. 
Cum repetit Introitum, non signat se ut prius ; et eo repetito, 
junctis manibus ante pectus accedit ad medium altaris : ubi 
stans versus illud similiter manibus junctis, dicit eadem voce 
ter Kyrie eleison, ter Christe eleison, et iterum ter Kyrie eleison, 
alternatim cum ministro. Si minister non respondeat, ipse 
solus novies dicit." (Rub. Miss. tit. IV. n. 2.) 

Having kissed the altar the priest joins his hands, and 
without making any inclination to the cross he goes at 
a natural walk to the Epistle corner, continuing to say 
et omnium Sanctorum, etc., as appears from the Rubric 
that says: Osculato altari accedit ad cornu ejus sinistrum. 

When he arrives at the place where the Missal is, he 
turns toward it, and with his body and his head erect 
he begins the Introit (not, however, while still walking) 

1 1 o The Ceremonies of the Mass. 

in a loud voice, signs himself with the sign of the cross, 
and with his hands joined continues it in the same 
high tone of voice. 

At the Gloria Patri he makes towards the cross a sim 
ple minimarum maxima inclination, but does not raise 
his eyes; and thus remains till the Sicut erat. While 
making this inclination he should also bend his body a 
little, according to the practice more commonly received 
and more natural. While he repeats the Introit he does 
not make the sign of the cross. 

Gloria Patri in the Introit is omitted only in the 
Masses of the Dead, and from Passion Sunday till 
Easter it is said only in Masses of the saints and in 
votive Masses; during the Paschal time two alleluias are 

After the Introit, while walking with his hands joined 
and at his natural pace, and therefore with his right side 
turned towards the altar, he goes to the middle, where 
in a loud voice he says alternately with the server three 
times Kyrie eleison, three times Christe eleison, and again 
three times Kyrie eleison. He should, however, take care 
not to begin until he has arrived at the middle, and has 
made to the cross a simple minimarum maxima inclina 
tion, 1 without, however, raising his eyes. This must be 
observed as often as he passes to the middle of the altar 
or leaves it, unless a little before leaving it, or a little 
after reaching it, the making of a bow is prescribed in 
the Missal; for example, if the altar is to be kissed or 
after the Gospel the Credo is to be said, because at the 
word JDeum a bow is prescribed. And so also when on 
the Ember days after Pentecost Gloria in cxcelsis Deo is 
to be said separately (without Kyrie}, because at the 
word Deo an inclination is prescribed. 

1 No inclination is to be made, as the Rubric prescribes none: " Post 
Introitum redibit ad medium altare, ac nullam cruci faciens reverentiam, 
junctis semper manibus, recitabit Kyrie eleison simul cum ministro." 
(Martinttcci, lib. i. c. 18, n. 39.) 

CHAP, iv.] Introit, Kyrie, and Gloria. 1 1 1 

3. The Priest recites the Gloria in excelsis. 

Dicto ultimo Kyrie eleison, Sacerdos, stans in medio altaris, 
et manus extendens, elevansque usque ad humeros (quod in 
omni manuum elevatione observatur), voce praedicta incipit, si 
dicendum sit Gloria in excelsis. Cum dicit Deo, jungens ma 
nus, caput Cruci inclinat; quo erecto, stans junctis manibus 
ante pectus, prosequitur usque ad finem. Cum dicit Adoramus 
te, Gratias agimus tibi, etjesu Christe, Suscipc deprecationem 
nostram, et iterum, Jesu Christe, caput Cruci inclinat. Cum 
dicit, in fine Cum sancto Spiritu, seipsum a fronte, ad pectus 
signat, interim absolvens In gloria Dei Patris, Amen. (Rub. 
Miss. tit. IV. n. 3.) 

The last Kyrie having been said, while yet standing 
erect at the middle of the altar, he says Gloria, extend 
ing his hands the width of his body and raising them 
to the height of his shoulders, so that they do not pass 
higher than his nose; 1 when he says in excelsis he joins 
them before his breast, 2 but at the word Deo he inclines 
his head, without, however, raising his eyes. 

Merati wishes this inclination to be the simple mini- 
marum minima; but it seems to me that the simple mini- 
martini maxima is required, just as at Gratias agimus, 
when this inclination is made at the word Deo: the 
more so since Merati himself says that on the Saturday 
within the Octave of Pentecost, when he arrives at the 
middle of the altar in order to say the Gloria and the 
Credo, no inclination is to be made, because immediately 
at the word Deo, which is said in the Gloria and the 

1 The Rubric says (i. c. n. 3): " Elevansque usque ad humeros (quod 
in omni manuum elevatione observatur)" ;Caerem. Episcop. lib. ii. cap. 
8, n. 38: " Elevatisque manibus ad altitudinem humerorum." 

2 According to the Rubric of the Missal, the hands are again to be 
joined when the word Deo is said. Merati (p. ii. tit. 4, n. 10), follow 
ing this Rubric, writes: " Dum sacerdos profert vocem illam Deo duo 
praestat: alterum est jungere manus ante pectus de more; alterum vero 
est inclinare caput;" this is the common opinion of the Rubricists. 

1 1 2 The Ceremonies of the Mass. 

Credo, an inclination must be made; and he wishes that 
this inclination should be the simple minimarum maxima. 

It must be observed that those do wrong who lower 
their separated hands and place them on the altar; be 
cause the hands are to be immediately disjoined, and 
without lowering them are to be held in such a way 
that one palm faces the other, and the hands do not 
reach higher than the shoulders. 

After having said Gloria in excclsis Deo, he continues 
the hymn, remaining in the same posture and holding 
his hands joined before his breast till the end. But 
when he says Adoramus te, Gratias agimus tibi, and Jesu 
Christe, Suscipe deprecationem nostram, and again Jesu 
Christe, he makes a simple minimarum maxima inclina 
tion. At the end, when he says Cum sancto Spiritu, etc., 
he makes the sign of the cross, so distributing the words 
that at the words Cum sancto he places his right hand on 
his forehead; at the word Spiritu, he places it below the 
breast; at the words in gloria, he conveys it to the left 
shoulder; at the words Dei Patris, he transfers it to the 
right shoulder; and at the word Amen, he joins his hands. 
But Tonellius and others, with whose opinion Merati 
seems to concur, say that the joining of the hands may 
be omitted, because they are to be disjoined immedi 
ately, and such a joining is not prescribed by the 
Rubric. And the same thing holds good, after the 
Credo is finished, at the Benedictus qui venit, etc., after 
the Sanctus, and at Omni benedictione ccdesti, because at 
the Memento for the Dead the hands must be immedi 
ately disjoined. 1 

The Gloria is always said when the Te Deum was said 
in the Office; but it is omitted in Masses of the Dead 

1 St. Alphonsus seems to admit either opinion. It is certain that the 
Rubric does not prescribe that the hands be joined in the case above 
mentioned. The Congregation of Rites, consulted on this point, 
answered, November 12, 1831: " Serventur Rubricae." 

CHAP, iv.] Introit, Kyric, and Gloria. 113 

and in votive Masses, except in Masses of the Blessed 
Virgin on Saturdays, 1 in Masses of the Angels, or in 
Masses that are solemnly celebrated pro re gravi;* and 
otherwise if it is expressly prescribed in the Missal, as 
on Thursday and Saturday of Holy Week, on which 
days the Gloria is recited, although the Te Deum was not 
said in the Office, because on those days the Office is not 
in accord with the Mass. 

1 Also when Masses are celebrated within any octave of the Blessed 
Virgin. The same holds good for the votive Masses of the saints that 
are celebrated within their octaves. (See Schober, page 39, note 7.) 

8 "Pro re gravi, vel pro publica Ecclesiae causa, dummodo non 
dicatur Missa cum paramentis violaceis." (Ruhr. gen. tit. VIII. n. 4.) 

1 14 The Ceremonies of the Mass. 



i. The Priest salutes the People, saying Dominus vobiscum. 

" Dicto hymno Gloria in excelsis, vel, si non sit dicendus, eo 
omisso, celebrans osculatur altare in medio, manibus hinc inde 
super eo, ut supra, extensis; turn illis ante pectus junctis, et 
demissis ad terram oculis, vertit se a sinistro latere ad dextrum 
versus populum, hoc est per earn parteni quae respicit cornu 
Epistolae, et, extendens ac jungens maims ante pectus, ut prius, 
dicit voce praedicta Dominus vobiscum. 

" Si altare sit ad Orientem versus populum, celebrans, versa 
facie ad populum, non vertit humeros ad altare, cum dicturus 
est, Dominus vobiscum; Orate f retires ; Ite Missa est ; vel 
daturus benedictionem ; sed, osculato altari in medio, ibi ex- 
pansis et junctis manibus, ut supra, salutat populum, et dat 
benedictionem." (Rub. Miss. tit. V. n. i et 3.). 

AFTER the Gloria, or if it is omitted, after the Kyrie, 
the celebrant, with his hands (not only his fingers) rest 
ing as far as the wrists exclusively, on both sides of the 
altar, outside of the corporal, as has been said above 
(Chap. IV. i), kisses the altar, and then with his hands 
again joined before his breast, and with his eyes cast down, 
but not closed, so that he can see about three feet beyond 
the steps of the altar, he turns from the Epistle side to 
wards the people, and standing in the middle, he extends 
his hands so that one palm faces the other, and he joins 
them, all the fingers being joined and straight, but the 
hands are not extended beyond the width of the shoul 
ders, and immediately in an intelligible voice he says 
Dominus vobiscum, but he does not incline the head nor 

CHAP, v.] The Prayers. 1 1 5 

lean against the altar: this should be observed in all 
similar cases. 

It must be remarked that spectacles should be taken 
off and put on the altar outside of the corporal before 
the celebrant turns towards the people. 1 

If the altar is placed in such a manner that the cele 
brant faces the people, he does not turn to them, but 
having kissed the altar, he salutes or blesses them in the 
prescribed words. 

2. The Priest recites the Prayer. 

" Et cum spiritu tuo. Et junctis ut prius manibus, revertitur 
per eamdem viam ad librum, ubi, eas extendens et jungens ante 
pectus, caputque Cruci inclinans, dicit Or emus turn extendit 
manus ante pectus, ita ut palma unius manus respiciat alteram, 
et digitis simul junctis, quorum summitas humerorum altitu- 
dinem distantiamque non excedat ; quod in omni extensione 
manuum ante pectus servatur. Stans autem, ut supra, extensis 
manibus, dicit Qrationem. Cum dicit Per Dominum nostrum, 
jungit manus, casque junctas tenet usque ad finem. Si aliter 
concluditur Oratio Qiti tccnm, vel Qui vivis, cum dicit in uni- 
tate, jungit manus. 

" Cum nominatur nomen Jesus, caput versus Crucem inclinat ; 
quod etiam facit cum nominatur in Epistola. Et similiter ubi- 
cumque nominatur nomcn beatae Maria?, vel Sanctorum dc qui- 
bus dicitur Missa, vel fit commemoratio ; item in oratione pro 

1 " Perspicilla sreculo elapso naribus tantum insidebant nee tarn de- 
center, sicut hodie, firmabantur. Facilius quidem poterant levari, sed 
etiam faciliter decidebant .... cum hodie conspicilla modo penitus 
diverse et magis convenienti adhibeatur, difficiliusque deponi et iterum 
firmari possint, non videtur amplius necessarium, ilia ad quamcumque 
actionem infra Missam deponere, quum insuperjuxta Rubricas gener 
ates, tit. xx.: super altare nihil omnino ponatur, quod ad Missae sacri- 
ficium vel ipsius altaris ornamentum non pertineat. Sic vero practi- 
catum videmus ab optimis quoque sacerdotibus. Si quis autem utatur 
perspicillis, quae antiquis similia sunt et germanice Zwicker, gallice 
Pince-nez vocantur, ea deponere debet, quandocumque ad populum se 
vertit." (Schober, page 40, note i.) 

1 1 6 The Ceremonies of the Mass. 

Papa quando nominator, semper caput inclinat, non tamen 
versus Crucem. 

"Si plures Orationes sint dicendae, idem in eis, in voce, 
extensione manuum, et capitis inclinatione, quod supra dictum 
est, observatur." (Rub. Miss. tit. V. n. I, 2.) 

After the server has answered Et cum spiritu tuo, the 
celebrant returns to the Missal by the same way, at a 
natural and grave pace; and when he arrives there, he 
extends his hands and again joins them, and turning a 
little towards the cross, without raising his eyes, makes 
to the cross a simple minimarum maxima inclination, say 
ing at the same time in an intelligible voice Oremus, and 
then in the same intelligible voice he continues the 
prayer, standing erect and with his hands so extended 
that one palm faces the other, and the extremities of 
the fingers reach, but do not extend higher than the 
shoulders, nor beyond the width of the body; but the 
fingers should be joined and straight: this must always 
be done when the hands are to be held extended before 
the breast. We must observe that the left hand should 
be placed on the Missal if the right hand turns the 

At the conclusion Per Dominum nostrum and Per 
eumdem Dominum the hands are immediately joined; 2 if 
the conclusion is made with qui tecum or with qui vivis, 
they are joined at the words in unitate. If the prayer is 
directed to God the Father, it is concluded with the 
words Per Dominum, etc. If in the middle of the prayer 3 
the name Jesus is uttered, it is concluded with the words 
Per eumdem, etc.; if the name Jesus is mentioned at 
the end, it is concluded with the words qui tecum, etc.; 
if the prayer is directed to Jesus Christ, it is concluded 

1 Or on the altar, as has been said above, Chapter III., page 103. 

2 " Easque tenet usque ad finem," the Rubric adds (1. c., tit. V. n. i). 
8 Or " if at the beginning of the prayer mention is made of the Son." 

{Rubric, gen. tit. IX. n. 17.) 

CHAP, v.] The Prayers. 1 1 7 

with qui vivis, etc.; if the Holy Ghost is named, or if the 
prayer is directed to him, we must say in conclusion in 
unitate cjusdem Spiritus sancti . Therefore in the first 
two conclusions, while saying Jesum, the celebrant turns 
to the cross with the minimarum maxima inclination, and 
remains thus inclined till the end of the prayer. 2 If 
several prayers are to be said, he should not look for 
the next prayer before the first is concluded, as the 
Rubric clearly prescribes against the opinion of Tonel- 
lius: Easque junctas tenet usque ad fine m. 

In the conclusions quitecum and qui vivis the hands are 
joined at the words in unitate, but the head is not in 
clined nor turned to the cross. If in the prayer the 
name Jesus is said, a minimarum maxima inclination is 
to be made towards the cross ; at the name of the Blessed 
Virgin a minimarum media inclination is to be made 
towards the book; at the name of a saint a minimarum 
minima inclination is also to be made towards the book; 
and also when the name of that saint is uttered of 
whom a commemoration is made. 3 By the word commemo 
ration is not understood that which is made in the prayer 
A cunctis, because in that only at the name Mary the 
head is inclined. By commemoration we mean when a 
Mass, even if a votive Mass, is said of any saint, or when 
it is said within the octave of the saint of whom a com 
memoration is made." 

1 If, namely, it has its own conclusion. 

* Baldeschi and most of the authors say that the head should be 
raised immediately. (See Schober, page 41, note 6.) 

3 Also in the prayer for the Pope when he is mentioned the head is> 
always inclined not, however, to the cross. Likewise at the name of the 
bishop the head is to be inclined towards the book when his prayer is 
said ; as also when the name of the Blessed Trinity is uttered the head 
is inclined as at the name Jesus. This inclination takes place whether 
the three Persons are either expressly named together, as in Deo Patri 
sit gloria, or when the name of the Blessed Trinity is expressly men 
tioned at the end of the hymns. (S. R. C., August 12, 1854.) 

4 Merati (1. c. n. n) explicitly says what is to be understood by a 

1 1 8 The Ceremonies of the Mass. 

At the name of the saint of whom a commemoration 
is made, the head is to be inclined whenever it is men 
tioned in the prayer, in the Epistle, in the Gospel, or in 
the Canon. 1 Excepted, however, is the title of the Epis 
tle and of the Gospel, as, for example, Lectio Epistolce B. 
Pauli Apostoli ; Sequentia S. Evangelii secundum Joanne m. 
For in these places the head is not inclined, although 
in the Office a commemoration is made of the same holy 
apostles. 2 

Whatever may be the number of prayers, the conclu 
sion is made only in the first and in the last, and the in 
vitation Oremus is said only in the first and in the second 
prayer. 3 

3. The Prayers on the Ember Days. 

" In Quatuor Temporibus vel alias, quando dicendae sunt 
plures Orationes cum Prophetiis, dicto Kyrie cletson in medio 
altaris, revertitur ad cornu Epistolce, ubi, stans ante librum, 
extensis et junctis ante pectus manibus, et caput Cruci inclinans, 
dicit, Oremus, Flectamus gemia; et illico manibus super altare 
extensis, ut seipsnm ad altare sustineat, genuflectit ; et sine 

commemoration: "Nomine commemorationis, ait, veniunt illi Sancti, 
de quibus recolitur specialis memoria in Oratione, vel qui de illis recurrit 
in ilia die festum, aut simplex, aut semiduplex, aut duplex, aut dies 
infra Octavam, aut de illo Sancto dicitur Missa." 

1 " Quando immediate sequuntur plura nomina Sanctorum, satis est, 
caput tantum semel inclinare, ita tamen ut inclinatio duret a primo 
nomine usque ad ultimum; sic enim etiam Rubricae satisfieri videtur, 
quia nomina proferuntur inclinato capite. Quod autem non habet 
locum, quando nomina diversam inclinationem requirunt, uti v. gr. in 
festo S. Joseph, in principio Evangelii: Cum esset desponsata mater 
Jesus Maria Joseph, ad quae verba triplex inclinatio facienda est, nempe 
minimarum maxima, media et minima." (Schober, page 43, n. 9.) 

2 The S. R. C., Sept. 7, 1844, answered: " Inclinationem capitis non 
esse faciendam at the words optimum partem elegit sibi Maria qu<z non 
auferetur ab ea in (zternum" words found in the Mass of the feast of 
the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin. 

3 The conclusion is always such as is required by the prayer to 
which it is added, no regard being had to the preceding prayers. 

CHAP, v.] The Prayers. 1 1 9 

mora surgens, eadem voce ministro respondente Levate, mani- 
bus extensis dicit Orattonem ut supra, et in conclusione eas 
jungit. Dum antem legit Prophetias, tenet manus super librum 
vel altare positas, ut mox dicetur de Epistola." {Rub. Miss. tit. 
V. n. 4.) 

On the Ember days, and on other days on which there 
are many prayers and Prophecies, the priest, having said 
the Kyrie in the middle of the altar, and a minimarum 
maxima inclination having previously been made towards 
the cross, 1 returns to the Epistle corner, and there as 
usual says Oremus. Then he says Flectamus genua, and 
with his hands resting on the altar he makes a genuflec 
tion only on one knee, and immediately, after the server 
has answered Levate, he rises and says the prayer. When 
he reads the Prophecies, he holds his hands either upon 
the altar or upon the Missal. 

4. The Number of Prayers. 

As for the number of prayers, it should be known that 
if the Office is duplex, all the prayers that are prescribed 
in the Office should be said, nor is it permitted to add 
or omit a prayer. It must be remarked that if & festum 
duplex seciindce classis occurs, which has a commemoration 
of the simplex only in the Lauds and not in the Vespers, 
a commemoration of the simplex is not made in the sol 
emn Mass, but is made only in private Masses. On those 
days, however, on which by the Rubric several prayers 
are forbidden, all the commemorations are also omitted 
in the Mass; as on Pentecost and on the Vigil of Pen 
tecost, etc. 

Besides, the Sacred Congregation of Rites, December 
2, 1684, has declared that it is not a precept of the Rubric 
that in semiditplicibus, simplicibus, andferitsan odd number 
should always be taken. Theologians, however, require 

1 No inclination is to be made, as the Rubric does not prescribe it. 

1 20 The Ceremonies of the Mass. 

that in conformity to the Rubrics at least three prayers 
should be taken, and in ferial, votive, or simple Masses 
only five or at the most seven may be allowed; but on 
Sundays and in semiduplicibus are to be said four inclusively 
of the prayer prescribed by the Superior, and it is not 
necessary to add a fifth: Cum in Missa de semiduplici non 
sint necessario dicendce collectce impares, id est tres, quinque vel 
septem, according to the cited decree of December 2, 1684. 
Moreover, if a prayer is prescribed by the Superior, [then 
either it is taken ad libitum instead of the third, or it is 
added as a commemoration to the duplex, semiduplex, or 
to the Sunday: so the S. C. R. declared August 28, 
1627]. This prayer is regularly omitted on feasts/r/w^ 
and secundce classis ; and even in the principal churches in 
Rome it is omitted in private Masses: that it must be 
omitted in the solemn Masses is certain. So also the 
commemoration of the simplex is omitted, although it is 
otherwise of precept. 

It must be observed that the prayers ad libitum are not 
to be so understood that the celebrant may say any 
prayer he may please to say, but that of those prayers 
that are in the Missal he may choose one, as appears 
from the Rubric, tit. VII. n. 9. 

It must be observed: i. That it is not proper that the 
celebrant in a solemn Mass should say the prayer Pro se 
ipso sacerdote in the presence of the bishop or the clergy 
assembled in the choir, but he should take the prayer 
that has reference to the Superior or Congregation, or 
another that is more suitable. 2. The commemorations 
of the Sundays, of Advent, of Lent, of the Vigils, and of 
the Ember days should never be omitted. 3. The com 
memoration of the Ember days should be the first after 
the Introit, that is, the prayer of the Office. 4. If any 
octave falls on a privileged 1 Sunday, only the com- 

1 " Vel communem, si officium fit de Dominica." (Rub. Miss. p. I, 
tit. IX. n. 10.) 

CHAP, v.j The Prayers. 1 2 1 

memoration of the octave is taken, the third prayer 
being omitted. 

In the votive Masses the second prayer shall always 
be the prayer of the Office, but the third should be that 
which was to have been said in the second place. The 
prayer that was to have been said in the third place 
may be omitted unless it be a particular commemoration 
that is made in the Office. 

In the Mass of a saint who is the titular patron of the 
altar, of whom no Office is said, but only a votive Mass 
on the day of the same saint, the second prayer will be 
of the Office of the day; the third, that which agrees 
with the Office, and which was to have been taken in the 
third place. In this Mass, which is regarded as a com 
bination of the votive and festive (votive, because it 
does not agree with the Office; festive, because it is 
the feast of the saint), the Gloria is said. But in regard 
to the solemn votive Masses, see the Rubric. 

In the votive Masses of the Blessed Virgin, the second 
commemoration is of the Holy Ghost even during the 
time of Advent, of the Passion, and of Easter. In the 
Masses of the apostles instead of the prayer A cunctis, 
Concede of the Blessed Virgin is said, so that the com 
memoration of Sts. Peter and Paul may not be repeated. 
In the votive Mass of the patron in the prayer A cunctis, 
the name of the patron is omitted, or another saint is 
mentioned, according to devotion. 2 

1 Nempe tcrtia Oratio. 

2 In reference to the prayer A cunctis the following decisions are to 
be considered: 

1. In the prayer A cunctis the name of S. Joseph is always to be 
added in the words cum beato Joseph after the invocation of the Blessed 
Virgin and before all other patron saints, except the angels and St. 
John the Baptist. This also holds good for the Post-Communion. 
(S. C. R., April 22, 1871.) 

2. At the lettef N. in the prayer A cunctis there must be mentioned 
in every church the name of the patron or the titular saint of the church 

122 The Ceremonies of tJie Mass. 

5. The Order of the Prayers. 

As for the order of the prayers, the prayer of Sunday 
precedes the prayer within the octave, but the latter 
precedes the prayer f erics majoris 1 or of the Vigil; the 
latter precedes the prayer of the simplex, the prayer of 
the simplex precedes the communes, which would be in the 
second place, and are now put in the third place; but 
the communes precede those that are said through devo 
tion. The votive prayers of the Blessed Trinity, the 
Holy Ghost, the Blessed Sacrament, and the Cross pre 
cede those of the Blessed Virgin, the Holy Angels, and 
St. John the Baptist, and all precede those of the holy 
apostles. We must, therefore, say cum beato Michaele 
Archangelo, or cum beato Joanne Baptista, atque beatis Apos- 
tolis tuis Petro et Paulo et omnibus Sanctis. If a commem- 

in which one celebrates Mass. But if the name is already mentioned, 
it need not be mentioned again (S. C. R., Nov. 12, 1831); and then the 
two words atque beato should be omitted. 

If this church is dedicated to the Holy Trinity, to the Holy Cross, to 
the Holy Spirit, or any other mystery, no mention is made of them; 
and the two words atque beato are omitted. We also omit them for 
reasons given above if the church is dedicated to the Blessed Virgin, 
to St. Michael, to St. John the Baptist, to St. Joseph, to St. Peter, 
or to St. Paul. (S. C. R., Apr. 16, 1853.) 

In a chapel or oratory without a patron or titular saint we must 
always take the name of the patron either of the city or of the country. 
(S. C. R., Febr. 15, 1873.) 

If there are several patrons, we must place them according to the 
order that each one occupies in Litaniis majoribus. (S. R. C., Sept. 
28, 1865.) 

3. May religious invoke their holy founder in the two prayers A 
cunctis and Mundet? Yes, provided they do not omit the patron or 
the titular saint. (S. C. R., June 17, 1843.) 

1 " Ferice majores are the feria; of Advent, of Lent, of the Ember 
days, and feria secunda Rogatiomim ; feria terlia et quarta Roga- 
tionum are minores, and if they occur in a Mass with the commemora 
tion simplids, the commemoration simplicis is to precede such a feria." 
(Schober, page 52, note 27.) 

CHAP, v.i The Prayers. 123 

oration of the Dead must be made, it is always put in 
the second last place. 

If two prayers in the same Mass are similar, that 
which is to be said last is to be changed, and in its place 
another ex communi is to be taken. If the prayer of the 
22d Sunday after Pentecost, of the Forty Martyrs, or of 
the Thursday after Ash Wednesday is to be changed, 
the prayer of the Sunday or fcrm sequentis is to be taken. 

24 The Ceremonies of the Mass. 



I. The Priest reads the Epistle, the Gradual, and what 

" Diet-is Oration ibus, celebrans, positis super librum vel super 
altare manibus, ita ut palmse librum tangant ; vel (ut placuerit) 
librum tenens, legit Epistolam intelligibili voce, et respondetur 
a ministro Deo gratias ; et similiter stans eodem modo, prose- 
quitur Graduate, Alleluja, et Tractum, ac Sequcntiam si dicenda 
sint. Quibus dictis, Sacerdos si privatim celebret, ipsemet, seu 
minister portat librum Missalis ad alteram partern altaris in 
cornu Evangelii ; et dum transit ante medium altaris, caput 
Cruci inclinat; et Missale sic locat, ut posterior pars libri res- 
piciat ipsum cornu altaris, et non ad parietem, sive ad partem 
ejus contra se directam." (Rub. Miss. tit. VI. i.) 

AFTER having recited the prayers, the priest so places 
his hands upon the Missal or upon the altar that the 
palms touch the Missal or he holds them in any way 
that may be convenient, provided neither hand remains 
suspended in the air. With his hands thus placed, he 
reads the Epistle in a loud voice; at the end of the Epis 
tle he lowers the tone of his voice in order to warn the 
server to answer Deo gratias. He does the same at the 
end of the Gospel. He recites in the same tone of voice 
the Gradual, Versicle, Tract, or Sequentia. 

If while he reads the Epistle or some subsequent Ver 
sicle a genuflection is to be made, he will make it on one 

CH. vi.] Epistle, Gradual, Gospel, and Credo. 125 

knee, resting meanwhile his hands on the altar without 
lowering the head. 

If in the Epistle the name Jesus must be pronounced, 
he turns a little towards the cross and makes the pre 
scribed inclination. If he pronounces the name Mary 
or that of a saint whose feast it is, he makes a minimarum 
media inclination at the name of the Blessed Virgin, a 
minimarum minima at the name of a saint, but towards 
the Missal. This holds good for every case that occurs 
in which the said names must be pronounced, as has 
been explained on page 117. 

The Gradual having been said, throughout the year 
two alleluias are said, then the Versicle, and after it an 
other alleluia. In the Paschal time, instead of the Grad 
ual two Versicles and four alleluias are said, according 
to the rubric given at the Mass of Saturday after Easter. 

2. The Priest Reads the Gospel. 

"Locate Missali in altari, celebrans redit ad medium altaris, 
ibique stans, junctis manibus ante pectus, levatisque ad Deum 
oculis et statim demissis, turn profunde inclinatus, dicit secreto 
Munda cor meum, et Jube Dominc benedicere, Dominus sit in 
corde mco ut in Ordinario. Quibus dictis, vadit ad librum 
Missalis, ubi stans versus ilium, junctis manibus ante pectus, 
(licit intelligibili voce Dominus vobiscum. R. Et cum spiritu 
tuo. Deinde, pollice dextrae manus, signo crucis signat primo 
librum super principle Evangelii quod est lecturus ; postea seip- 
sum in fronte, ore, et pectore, dicens Sequentia, vel Initium 
sancti Evangelii, etc.; R. Gloria tibi Domine. Turn junctis 
iterum manibus ante pectus, stans ut supra, prosequitur Evan- 
gelium usque ad finem. Quo finite, minister, stans in cornu 
Epistoloe post infimum gradum altaris, respondct Laus tibi 
Christe et Sacerclos elcvans parumper librum, osculatur princi- 
pium Evangelii, dicens Per Evangelic a dicta, etc. Cum autem 
nominator Jesus caput versus librum inclinat: et eodem 
modo versus librum genuflectit, cum in Evangelio est genuflec- 
tendum." (Rub. Miss. tit. VI. 2.) 

[26 The Ceremonies of the Mass. 

Having finished the Gradual and what follows it, the 
priest, leaving the Missal open, with his hands joined 
before his breast, goes immediately to the middle of the 
altar, and when he arrives there he raises his eyes to 
the cross, and immediately lowers them, and profoundly 
inclined, he does not rest his hands on the altar, but 
holds them between himself and the altar, and says in a 
low tone of voice: Munda cor meum, 1 etc. Jitbe Dominc 
benedicere: Dominus sit in corde meo, etc. If the server is 
so small that the priest himself would have to remove 
the Missal to its place, while passing he makes an incli 
nation to the cross, 2 and the Missal having been put into 
its place, he returns to the middle in order to recite 
Munda cor me it in, etc., as has been said above. 

Then, with his hands still joined before his breast, 
he goes to the Gospel corner, and there so places 
the Missal that it looks not towards the front, but 
obliquely towards the angle of the altar. Then with 
his hands joined before his breast, without resting them 
or his arms on the altar, he faces the Missal; his head 
and body being erect, he says in an intelligible voice 
Dominus vobiscum. He then disjoins his hands, and hav 
ing placed his left hand on the book he makes the sign 
of the cross with the inner part, not the nail, of the 
thumb of his right hand on the Missal where the Gospel 
begins. But while making this sign of the cross he 
extends his whole right hand, turns the palm towards 
the book, and keeps the four fingers together. Mean 
while he places his left hand on the Missal, then places 
it below his breast, and with the same inner part of the 
thumb of his right hand makes three other small crosses 
on his forehead, on his mouth, and on his breast, while 
holding the right hand with the other fingers extended 

1 The Munda cor should not be begun until after the priest has pro 
foundly inclined. 

3 Here the Rubric of the Missal expressly prescribes an inclination. 

CH. vi.] Epistle, Gradual, Gospel, and Credo. 1 2 7 

and the palm turned towards himself. The signs of the 
cross are thus distributed according to the words: While 
saying Sequentia or Initium he signs the book; at the 
words sancti Evangelii, the forehead; while signing the 
mouth he says nothing, because it should be closed; 
while saying secundum Joannem, etc., he signs his breast. 

After the server has answered: Gloria tibi D omine, the 
priest joins his hands before his breast, and in an intel 
ligible voice reads the Gospel, inclining the head at the 
name of Jesus or of Mary towards the Missal, towards 
which he also genuflects if a genuflection must be made. 

The Gospel having been said, the priest raises the 
Missal a little with both hands, inclines somewhat, and 
kisses the beginning of the text of the Gospel, saying in 
a low tone of voice: Per Evangelic a dicta, etc. 

After having kissed the Missal the celebrant places it 
with both hands on the cushion or stand near the cor 
poral, so that he may conveniently read it from the 
middle of the altar. Then, with his hands joined before 
his breast, he goes to the middle of the altar, and on ar 
riving there he kisses it, unless the Credo is to be said. 

3. The Priest recites the Credo. 

" Dicto Evangelic, stans in medio altaris versus Crucem, ele- 
vans et extendens manus, incipit (si dicendum sit) Credo. Cum 
dicit In unum Deum jungit manus, et caput Cruci inclinat ; quo 
erecto, stans ibidem junctis ante pectus manibus, ut prius, pro- 
sequitur usque ad finem. Cum dicit, Jesum Christum caput 
Cruci inclinat. Cum dicit Rt tncarnatus est usque ad, Et homo 
factus est inclusive, genuflectit. Cum dicit simul adoratur caput 
Cruci inclinat. Cum dicit Et vitam venturi scccult, Amen, pro- 
ducit sibi manu dextra signum Crucis a fronte ad pectus." (Rub. 
Miss. tit. VI. 3.) 

If the Credo is to be said, the priest standing erect 
immediately extends his hands, raises them and joins 
them, and in an intelligible and distinct voice, as at the 

1 28 The Ceremonies of the Mass. 

Gloria, begins the Credo, At the word Credo he extends 
and raises his hands; at the words in unum he joins them; 
at the word Deum he inclines his head, raising neither 
his eyes nor his head. He continues as at the Gloria. 
At the words Jesum Christum he makes a simple mini- 
marum maxima inclination. When he says Et incarnatus 
est, which words it is proper to recite slowly so that all 
may be done rightly, he begins to bend the right knee, 
and finishes this genuflection at the words et homo factus 
est, so that at these words he already has his knee on the 
platform of the altar; and he does not (contrary to the 
opinion of a few) incline the head. Before making a 
genuflection he extends his hands on the altar and 
moves back about a foot, both in order not to touch with 
his left knee the antipendium, and in order not to be 
obliged to extend his right foot beyond the platform: 
this should never be done unless perhaps the platform 
is so narrow that it could not otherwise be done. At 
the word adoratur a simple minimarum maxima inclina 
tion is to be made towards the cross; but at the words 
Et vitam venturi sceculi he makes the sign of the cross, as 
at the end of the Gloria, so distributing the words that 
when he says Et vitam he touches the forehead and the 
breast; when he says venturi he touches the left shoulder, 
and when he pronounces the word s&culi he touches the 
right shoulder. But he must pronounce these words 
slowly, so that everything may be done rightly. At the 
word Amen he may join his hands; but if he does not 
join them, it is no fault, because it is not prescribed by 
the Rubric. (Tonellius, 1. c. t. 4, n. 2.) 

4. At which Masses should the Credo be said. 
The Credo is said after the Gospel on all Sundays, 1 
although the Office be of a saint in whose Mass there 
would not be a Credo on any other day. 

1 A blind priest authorized to say always a votive Mass cannot say 
Mass with Credo on a Sunday. (Schober. p. 58.) 

CH. vi.] Epistle, Gradiial, Gospel \ and Credo. 129 

On all the feasts of the Lord and of the Blessed Virgin. 

On the feasts of the angels; namely, St. Michael, St. 
Gabriel, St. Raphael, and the holy angel guardians. 1 

On all the feasts of the apostles and evangelists. 

On the feast of any Doctor of the Church whose feast 
is celebrated as duplex. 11 In the Dedication of a church; 
also in the consecration of a church or altar, and in 
octaves, but not of the altar, because there is no octave 
of the consecration of the altar. 

The Dedication of the cathedral church is celebrated 
with the rite of prinuc classis, as well in the city as in the 
diocese; but the octave is celebrated only in the city. 
Regulars should celebrate with the rite of secundce classis 
without an octave, as is prescribed in the decree S. R. 
C., Febr. n, iyo2. 3 On the titular feasts of the church, 
that is, of the patron of the place, or of the titular saint, 
the Gloria and Credo are said. We say of the church, for 
on the titular feasts of any chapel or altar the Credo is 
said not in private Masses, but only in solemn Masses 
that are sung. On the titular feast of the cathedral 
only the Credo is said, but there is no octave. The Credo 
is also said on all the octaves and feasts of saints that 
occur within the octave in churches (not outside of 
them) that have any remarkable relic, as the head, arm, 
leg, or any part of the body in which the saint suffered martyr 
dom; provided it is entire, not small, and lawfully approved 
by the Ordinary. The Credo is also said on the day of the 
creation and coronation of the Pope and on the anni- 

1 The Credo should be said on both feasts of St. Joseph; namely, in 
festo natali, as well as in alio ipsius Patrocinii, etiam in casu transla- 
tionis extra Dominicam. (S. R. C., April 22, 1871.) 

* At present all the Doctors of the Church have their feasts sub ritu 
duplici. St. Mary Magdalen has a Credo in the Mass celebrated on her 

a This is the decree: " Regulares in ipsa civitate degentes in poster- 
urn teneri ad celebrandum festum Dedicationis ecclesiae cathedralis 
cum officio duplicis secundae classis, non tamen cum octava." 

130 The Ceremonies of the Mass. 

versary; as also on the day of election and consecration 
of a bishop, and on the principal feasts of Religious 
Orders and within their octaves, but only in their own 
churches. 1 It is also said in the solemn votive Masses 
celebrated pro re gram. On other feasts of the saints 
the Credo is not said, unless in the churches of which 
they are the Titular or Patron saints. 

1 By the principal feasts of the religious Orders is to be understood 
those of their holy founders, of their titular and patron saints. 

CHAP, vii.] Offertory, Sccreta, and Preface. 131 



i. The Priest recites the Offertory. 

" Dicto Symbolo, vel, si non sit dicendum, post Evangelium, 
celebrans osculatur altare in medio, et, junctis manibus ante 
pectus, ibidem a manu sinistra ad dextrarn (ut dictum est supra), 
vertit se ad populum, et, extendens ac jungens manus dicit Do- 
minus vobiscum; et junctis manibus revertitur per eamdem viam 
ad medium altaris, ubi, extendens et jungens manus, caputquc 
Cruci inclinans, dicit Oremus; turn junctis ut prius manibus 
dicit, Offer tor him: (Rub. Miss. tit. VII. n. i.) 

AFTER having recited the Credo, or, if it is not to be 
said, after having finished the Gospel, the celebrant 
kisses the altar in the middle and turns to the people to 
say Domimis vobiscum in the manner given above. Then 
he joins his hands and returns by the same way to the 
middle of the altar, where extending his hands and rais 
ing them to the height of his shoulders, 1 and again join 
ing them before his breast, he inclines his head towards 
the cross, and says Oremus. Then, with his hands joined 
before his breast, he says the Offertory, and in Paschal 
time adds one Alleluia. Some recite the Offertory in a 
low tone of voice, but this seems to be contrary to the 
Rubric which always expressly says when anything is 
to be pronounced in a low tone of voice. 

1 St. Alphonsus follows here Merati; others deny that the hands are 
to be raised, for the Rubric says: " Extendens et jungens manus, caput- 
que inclinans. dicit Oremus." 

132 The Ceremonies of the Mass. 

2. The Priest uncovers the Chalice and offers the Bread. 

" Dicto Offertorio, discooperit calicem, et ad cornu Epistolse 
sistit ; et manu dextra amovet parvani pallam desuper hostiam, 
accipit patenam cum hostia, et ambabus manibus usque ad pec- 
tus earn elevatam tenens, oculis ad Deum elevatis, et statim 
demissis, dicit, Sitscipe sancte Pater, etc. 

"Si fuerint alise hostiae, non super patenam, sed super cor- 
porale, vel in alio calice seu vase, pro communione populi con- 
secrandae, calicem ilium seu vas dextra discooperit, et, inten- 
tionem suam etiam ad illas offerendas et consecrandas dirigens, 
dicit ut supra Suscipe, etc. ut in ordine Missse. 

"Quo dicto, patenam iKraque manu tenens, cum ea facit sig- 
num Crucis super corporale, et deponit hostiam circa medium 
anterioris partis corporalis ante se, et patenam ad manum dex- 
tram aliquantulum subtus corporale; quam, exterso calice, ut 
dicetur, cooperit purificatorio. 

"Si autem adsit vas seu calix cum aliis hostiis, ipsum cooperit 
alia patena, vel pal la." (Rub. Miss. tit. VII. n. 2 et 3.) 

The Offertory having been said, the priest uncovers 
the chalice by taking the extremities of the veil with 
both hands; then raising it in front he removes it to 
wards the back part, and withdraws it from behind the 
chalice outside of the corporal. Then, if the server is 
not a cleric invested with surplice, he folds the veil in 
such a manner that its fringes do not appear on the 
outside, lest when he puts the pall upon it the border 
of the pall should adhere to the fringes of the veil. 
The veil having been thus folded, he places it near the 
corporal at the Epistle corner; he must never fold it 
upon the corporal. 

After having folded the veil, the priest places his left 
hand on the altar outside of the corporal; with his right 
hand he takes the chalice at the knob and puts it on the 
Epistle side nearly at such a distance as his arm can 
reach, so that when he takes off the pall he may con 
veniently place it on the folded veil. Then the cele- 

CHAP, vii.] Offertory, Secrcta, and Preface. 133 

brant, while yet standing in the middle of the altar, 
takes the pall off the paten, and so places it on the veil 
that it projects at one end, and he may thus more easily 
take hold of it. 

It must be observed that in the second and the 
third Mass of Christmas, when some drops of precious 
blood remain in the chalice, there should be placed on 
the altar-cloth a pall on which the chalice may be put: 
one may use for this purpose the pall of the chalice be 
fore removing the said chalice from the corporal, or the 
chalice may also be held in the left hand. And in these 
two Masses the priest should take care not to purify 
the chalice with the purificator when he pours wine 
and water into the chalice. 1 

He takes with the right hand, between the thumb, 
forefinger, and middle finger, the paten with the Host, 
and raises it as high as his breast, namely, with both 
thumbs, forefingers, and middle fingers around the paten, 
and sustains it with the other fingers extended and 
joined under the paten. At the same time he raises his 
eyes to the cross, and immediately lowers them, and in 
a low voice he says: Suscipe, sanctc Fater, etc. The Ru 
bric says: elcvatis oculis et statim demissis; but the word 
statim must be taken in a moral sense, so that while say 
ing: Suscipe, sancte Pater, omnipotent ceterne Deus, it is more 
suitable to raise the eyes towards the cross, and to lower 
them while saying hanc immaciilatam Hostiam, etc. 

When the priest has to consecrate particles for the 
Communion of the faithful, if there are only a few five 
or six of them they should be placed on the paten, and 
after the Oblation he places them on the corporal on the 
Gospel side always, however, on the altar-stone, at a 
little distance from the large Host. If there are many 

1 Although some drops of the precious blood may still remain in the 
chalice, no genuflection is made either in leaving the middle of the 
altar, or returning to it. (S. R. C., July 20, 1686.) 

134 The Ceremonies of the Mass. 

particles, they should be placed in a ciborium or upon 
the corporal, as has been just said; and if they are 
brought to the altar in a ciborium, the ciborium is 
placed behind the chalice, and the priest before he 
takes the paten from the chalice opens the ciborium, 
but does not move it from its place, and at the Offertory 
directs his intention also to the particles. 1 

Having finished the prayer Suscipe, he forms with the 
paten a cross (unius palmi) nine inches in length, over 
the corporal, holding the paten (circa medium palmuni) 
about four inches above the corporal. Then [inclining 
the paten he causes the Host to slide from the front 
part of the paten to the middle of the corporal] he im 
mediately puts the paten partly under the corporal on 
the Epistle side, and after having purified it, he covers 
it with the purificator. We say partly (aliquantulum)^ 
that is, less than one half, so that it may easily be drawn 
out at the proper time. If a ciborium or a chalice con 
taining particles is at hand, the ciborium is closed with 
its own cover after the little veil has been removed from 
the cover; but the chalice is covered with a paten or a 

It must be observed that it is a venial sin to consecrate 
without a reason the particles that are brought to the 
altar after the Offertory; but if there be a reason, for 
instance, if otherwise a person who is to communicate 
would be deprived of Communion, or would have to 
wait a long time, or if the person be of noble birth or 
very distinguished (to whom, according to Suarez and 

1 When a large Host is to be consecrated for the monstrance, it is 
placed on the paten, and after the offering it is put on the corporal at 
the side before the chalice, that is, to the left of the celebrant in a 
straight line with the other large Host, according to the usual custom. 
If, however, the Host that is to be put into the monstrance is adjusted 
only with difficulty, it may be consecrated in the lunula itself, while 
remaining on the corporal in the above-mentioned place. (Schober, 
page 63, n. 5.) 

CHAP, vii.] Offertory, Seer eta, and Preface. 135 

others, one may give Communion with a part of the 
large Host), then they may be lawfully consecrated, the 
offering of them being mentally supplied; and this is 
probably allowed even when the Canon has already 
been begun. See Benedict XIV., 1 Quarti, Possevinus, 
Gobat, and others. 

3. The Priest puts Wine and Water into the Chalice, and 
offers them. 

" Deinde, in cornu Epistolae, accipit calicem, purificatorio 
extergit, et, sinistra tenens illius nodum, accipit ampullam vini 
de manu ministri (qui osculatur ipsam ampullam, non autem 
manum celebrantis), et ponit vinum in calicem. Deinde eodem 
modo tenens calicem, producit signum crucis super ampullam 
aquae, et dicit Deus qui humance substantia, et in fun dens 
parum aquae in calice prosequitur Da nobis per hujus aqucp et 
vim inysferium, etc. 

"Imposita aqua in calice, et finita oratione praedicta, accipit 
manu dextra calicem discoopertum ; et stans ante medium 
altaris, ipsum ambabus manibus elevatum tenens, videlicet cum 
sinistra pedem, cum dextra autem nodum infra cuppam, intends 
ad Deum oculis offert, dicens Offerimus tibi Domine, etc. qua 
oratione dicta, facit signum crucis cum calice super corporale, et 
ipsum in medio, post hostiam, collocat, et palla cooperit." (Rub. 
Miss. tit. VII. 4 et 5.) 

Then having made an inclination towards the cross, 2 
the priest with his hands joined goes to the Epistle 
corner, and taking with his left hand the chalice at the 

1 This is what Benedict XIV. says: " Communis sententia est nor. 
posse particulas consecrari, cum Canon recitari inceperit, etiamsi agere- 
tur de consecranda particula quae afferenda esset pro Viatico ad infir- 
mum; eo enim casu, parva quaedam detrahi posset particula ex Hostia 
Missae, et reservari pro infirmo." (De Sacrif. M. s, 2, n. 158, vel 1. 3, 
c. 18.) 

2 The Rubric of the Missal says nothing about an inclination to the 

136 The Ceremonies of the Mass. 

knob, he at first purifies it with the right hand; 1 then 
holding with the left hand the extremity of the purificator 
upon the knob of the chalice, 2 he extends the other part 
of the purificator in the direction of the cruets, in order 
that if drops should fall the altar-cloth may not be 
soiled. Then holding the chalice a little inclined, he 
pours into it at the inclined part such a proper quantity 
as can be drunk at one draught. The wine having been 
poured in and the cruet having been returned to the 
server, while holding the chalice in the same way, he 
blesses the water, making the sign of the cross over the 
water cruet (this blessing being omitted in Masses for 
the Dead), and says at the same time: Deus, qui humana 
substantice, etc.; 3 and pouring into the chalice a little 
natural water, 4 he continues to say: da nobis per hujiis 
aqua et vini mysterium, etc. Then he returns the cruet to 
the server, places the chalice upright, takes the purifier 
that he is holding at the knob between the fingers of 
his left hand, and puts it neatly around the forefinger, 
and purifies the chalice in that part where he poured in 
the wine and the water. But if he poured in the wine by 
dropping it to the bottom of the chalice, he must purify 
the chalice all around as far as the wine reaches^ and in 

1 " An in Missis privatis permitti possit ministro, si fuerit sacerdos vel 
diaconus sive subdiaconus, ut praeparet calicem et ipsum extergat in fine 
post ablutiones, sicut in Missa solemn! ?" S. C. R. die 7 Sept. 1816, 
answered; " Negative, et serventur Rubricae." 

3 In the same decree to the question: " An purificatorium poni debeat 
super pedem calicis, dum prseparatur, vel potius super patenam ?" the 
answer was given by the S. R. C. : " Relinqui posse sacerdotis arbitrio." 

8 The prayer Deus, qui humana substantial should be begun by the 
priest at the same moment in which he blesses the water; " non vero prius 
aquabenedicatur nihil dicendo, atque tune demum facto signo crucis ilia 
oratio incipiatur." (S. R. C., Aug. 12, 1854.) 

4 The Sacred Congregation of Rites, February 6, 1858, decided that 
the use of the small spoon is not prohibited: " Usum parvi cochlearis 
non esse prohibitum." 

CHAP, vn.j Offertory, Secreta, and Preface. 137 

the mean time pronounce with a pause the words that 
follow divinitatis, so that when he says Jesus Christus the 
purifying is finished. Then with the same left hand he 
places the chalice near the corporal, that he may con 
veniently take it. When he says Jesus Christus he may 
join his hands, and he makes an inclination towards the 
cross. Continuing to recite the rest of the words, he 
meanwhile goes to the middle of the altar, and so places 
the purificator upon the part of the paten that is not 
covered by the corporal so that its extremities look to 
wards the altar. 1 Some wish that the purificator should 
be laid down with the left hand; but if it is laid down 
when the celebrant goes to the middle, it can be laid 
down with the right hand; but if it is laid down before 
he goes to the middle, it will be more convenient to do 
so with the left hand. Others wish that the words 
Jesus Christus should be pronounced in the middle in 
order that the celebrant may make an inclination there: 
every one may suit his own convenience. 

Having arrived at the middle and made the usual in 
clination towards the cross, 2 he places his left hand on 
the altar, but with his right he takes the chalice at the knob 
so that he holds his thumb in front of the chalice and 
the rest of his fingers behind it. Then he supports the 
foot of the chalice with the longer fingers of his left 
hand underneath it; and thus holding it in a straight 
line over the place that it is afterwards to occupy, tak 
ing care that the top of the chalice be not higher than 
the eyes nor lower than the chin, he says the prayer 
Offerimus tibi Domine, etc. During the whole of this prayer 
he raises his eyes towards the cross and keeps his elbows 
more inclined towards his breast. 

This prayer finished (and not before, as some wrongly 

1 Rubricists agree that the extremities of the purificator should look 
towards the altar, and not towards the celebrant. 

: Here the Rubric prescribes no inclination of the head. 

138 The Ceremonies of the Mass. 

do), he makes with the chalice which he holds erect a cross 
over the corporal, holding it in the same position as 
when the offering was made. He makes the cross, with 
the chalice raised four or five inches over the corporal: 
he makes it not by jerks, but in straight lines of about a 
palm in length, and may begin from the end of the 
corporal as far as the Host; but the chalice should not 
be moved over the Host. He puts the chalice behind 
the Host, but on the consecrated stone at the distance of 
about the size of another Host, and covers the chalice 
with the pall, while holding his left hand on the altar: 
this is to be done as often as he has to cover or uncover 
the chalice. Some put the hand on the foot of the chalice 
lest, they say, they should upset it; but to them we may 
reply, that the ceremonies should be performed quietly, 
not hurriedly: then there will be no reason to fear any 

4. The Priest blesses the Bread and the Wine. 

" Deinde, junctis manibus super altari positis, aliqnantulum 
inclinatus, dicit secreto, In sptritu humilitatis, etc. Postea 
erectus, elevans oculos, manusque expandens, et statim jungens 
ante pectus (quod semper facit quando aliquid est benedic- 
turus) dicit Veni sanctificator, etc., cum dicit Et benedic, signat 
rnanu dextra communiter super hostiam et calicem, sinistra 
posita super altare." (7?z^. Miss. tit. VII. 5.) 

Then he places his hands on the altar in such a way 

that the little fingers, being extended and united with 

the others (as has been said above 1 ), touch the front of 

the altar, and moderately inclined he says in a low tone 

of voice: In spiritu humilitatis, etc. Then standing erect, 

, he raises his eyes towards the cross, while at the same 

time he extends his hands and raises them as high as 

his shoulders; then he immediately lowers his eyes, and 

joining his hands before his breast (as is done when 

1 Page 1 08. 

CHAP, vii.] Offertory, Seer eta, and Preface. 139 

Oremus is said before the prayer) he says: Veni sanctifi- 
cator, etc.; and when he says Bene^dic, he makes the sign 
of the cross over the chalice and the Host at the same 
time, keeping his left hand on the altar. 
Here it must be observed: 

1. When Veni sanctificator is said, at the word Deus the 
head is not inclined, as Merati and many others teach, 
because an inclination is made immediately after, when 
leaving the middle of the altar; and this inclination, as 
Sarnelli says, should properly be made while pronounc 
ing the last words: Tuo sancto nomini preparation. 1 

2. In order to form well the cross over the oblata, he 
draws a straight line towards himself, but does not 
deflect the line over the Host, and he does so in such a 
manner that the extremity of the little finger begins 
from the middle of the chalice and finishes outside of 
the Host; then he draws a transverse line with the hand, 
likewise extended (not, however, with the fingers curved 
as the S. R. C. prescribed August 4, 1663) at the same 
height, namely, before the pall between the chalice and 
the Host; and in these crosses and in others of this kind 
he should not exceed the size of the pall. When the 
cross is to be made only over the chalice, it should be 
extended from one end of the pall to the other. 

3. Every time anything is to be blessed, the hands 
should be first joined, as the Rubric indicates in this 
place; unless the left hand be hindered, as happens at 
the blessing of the water: Deus qui humance, etc., and at 
the blessing of the Host and of the chalice at the mo 
ment of the Consecration. 

5. The Priest washes his Hands. 

" Tune, junctis ante pectus manibus, accedit ad cornu Epistol^e 
ubi stans, ministro aquam fundente, lavat manus, id est, extre- 

1 The Rubric, however, does not prescribe any inclination; hence it 
should be omitted. 

140 The Ceremonies of the Mass. 

mitates digitorum pollicis et indicis, dicens psalmum, Lavabo 
inter innocent es cum Gloria Patri, qui versus Gloria Patri 
prsetermittitur in Missis de Tempore a Dominica de Passione us 
que ad Sabbatum Sanctum exclusive." (Rub. Miss. tit. VII. 6.) 

Having made the sign of the cross, he again joins his 
hands, inclines towards the cross, 1 and with his hands 
joined goes to the Epistle corner, where he washes the 
extremities of four fingers, namely, of the two thumbs 
and forefingers, holding the two fingers of the right hand 
upon the other two fingers of the left hand, so that while 
the water is being poured on the fingers of the right hand 
the rest may be washed; and in the mean time he says 
in a low voice: Lavabo, etc. At the Gloria Patri he makes 
an inclination towards the cross, and then, while con 
tinuing Sicut erat, etc., he returns to the middle of the 
altar. Some are of opinion that if the priest has wiped 
his hands before finishing the psalm he may say the 
Gloria Patri in the middle of the altar and there make 
the inclination; but Merati rightly defends the contrary 
opinion, for such a thing seems to me not to be con 
formable to the Rubric. The Gloria Patri is omitted in 
the Masses of the Dead and in those Masses that are said 
from Passion Sunday to Holy Saturday inclusively; but 
in the votive Masses of the Passion and of the Cross the 
Gloria of this psalm is prescribed even in Passion Week. 

6. The Priest says the Suscipe Sancta Trinitas, the Orate 
Fratres, and the Secreta. 

" Celebrans, lotis manibus, eas tergit, et, illis ante pectus junc- 
tis, revertitur ad medium altaris, ubi stans, oculosque ad Deum 
elevans, et statim demittens, manibus junctis super altare ali- 
quantulum inclinatus dicit secreto orationem, Suscipe sancta 
Trinitas, etc. Qua dicta, manibus hinc hide extensis, et super 
altare positis, osculatur illud in medio: turn junctis manibus 
ante pectus, demissisque oculis ad terram, a sinistra manu ad 

1 No inclination is here prescribed by the Rubric. 

CHAP, vii.] Offertory, Seer eta, and Preface. 141 

dextrani vertit se ad populum, et, versus eum extendens et jun- 
gens manus, dicit voce aliquantulum elata Orate fratres, et 
secreto prosequens ut meum ac vestrum sacrificium, etc., per- 
ficit circulum, revertens junctis manibus ante pectus a manu 
dextra ad medium altaris. Et response a ministro, Suscipiat 
Dominus sacrificium de manibus tuts, etc. (alioquin per seipsum, 
d icons Sacrificium de manibus meis), ipse celebrans submissa 
voce dicit Amen, et manibus ante pectus extensis, ut fit ad 
orationem, stans in medio altaris versus librum, dicit absolute 
sine Oremus, et sine alia interpositione, Orationem vel Ora- 
tiones secretas. Cum dicit Per Dominum, jungit manus : cum 
dicit Jesum Christum, caput inclinat, quod facit in prima ora- 
tione, et in ultima, si plures sint dicendse." (Rub. Miss. tit. 
VII. 7-) 

Then the priest with his hands joined returns to the 
middle of the altar, and when he has arrived there, 
without making an inclination, he raises and lowers his 
eyes towards the cross, and with his hands joined and 
placed on the altar he says, moderately inclined, in a 
low tone of voice: Suscipe sancta Trinitas, etc.; then he 
kisses the altar in the middle, again joins his hands, and 
turns towards the people in the same way that he does 
when he says the Dominus vobiscum; but he lingers some 
what, and extending his hands and again joining them, 
he says in a moderate tone of voice: Orate fratres; and 
while continuing in a low tone: ut meum ac Tcstrum, etc., 
he returns to the middle of the altar, on the Gospel 
side, not on the Epistle side, making a complete circle; 
and having turned towards the altar he makes an incli 
nation towards the cross, 1 according to the opinion of 
Merati, Bissus, Hippolytus, and Tonellius. When the 
server has finished Suscipiat Dominus, the priest answers 
in a low tone of voice: Amen. 

Then he raises and extends his hands, and turning a 
little towards the book he says in a low tone of voice 
the orationes secretas without saying in the beginning 
1 The Rubric of the Missal says nothing about an inclination. 

142 The Ceremonies of the Mass. 

O remits; in regard to the conclusion he observes what 
was said above 1 as to the prayers. In the conclusion of 
the first oratio secreta he says Amen; and if there be only 
one, he pronounces it in a subdued tone of voice as far 
as the words Per omnia, etc. 

7. The Priest says the Preface. 

" Pervento autem, in conclusione ultimae Secretse, ad verba 
ilia, Per omnia scecula sceculorum, exclusive, Sacerdos, stans in 
medio altaris depositis super eo manibus hinc inde extensis, dicit 
convenient! et intelligibili voce Pr&fationem Cum dicit Sur- 
sum corda, elevat manus hinc inde extensas usque ad pectus, 
ita ut palma unius manus respiciat alteram. Cum dicit Grattas 
agamus Domino, jungit manus. Cum dicit Deo nostro, oculos 
elevat, et statim cruci caput inclinat. Response, Dignum et 
justum est, elevatis et extensis ut prius manibus; prosequitur 
Prcefattonem, propriam, vel communem, ut tempus requirit. 
Cum dicit Sanctus, junctis ante pectus manibus, et inclinatus, 
voce mediocri prosequitur, ministro interim parvam campa- 
nulam pulsante. Cum dicit, Benedictus qui vcnit in nomine 
Domini, etc., erigit se, et signum crucis sibi producit a fronte 
ad pectus." (Rub. Miss, tit. VII. 8.) 

Having come as far as the words Per omnia scecula SCECU- 
lorum in the conclusion of the oratio secreta or of the last 
oratio secreta, the priest pronounces these words in a loud 
tone of voice (if there be several prayers he does the 
same at the end of the last), holding his hands extended 
on the altar outside of the corporal, and he thus holds 
them until he says Dominus vobiscum. But when he says 
Sursum corda he raises his hands as far as his breast, so 
that the palm of one hand looks towards the palm of 
the other hand; but the extremities of the fingers should 
be joined and erect. When he says Gratias agamus Do 
mino he raises them a little higher, 2 as far as the shoul- 

1 Page 1 1 6. 

2 According to the Rubric the hands are not to be raised higher, but 
are only to be joined. (See Schober, page 73, note 35.) 

CHAP, vii.i Offertory, Seer eta, and Preface. 143 

ders, and immediately joins them before his breast. 
When he says Deo nostro, he raises his eyes towards the 
cross and immediately inclines the head with a simple 
inclination that seems to me should be a simple mini- 
marum maxima inclination. He therefore raises his hands 
and joins them at Domino, at Deo he raises his eyes, and 
at nostro he makes the inclination. 

After the server has answered Dignum et justum est, the 
priest again disjoins his hands, and holding them open 
as at the prayers, he continues the Preface, common or 
proper according to the time, and remains in this posture 
as far as the Sanctus, It must be observed that Pope 
Clement XIII. in the year 1759 ordained that on all 
Sundays that have no proper Preface the Preface of the 
Blessed Trinity must be said. It was doubted whether 
on the Sundays within the octave, or on the Sundays of 
Lent, or of the Paschal time, the Preface is to be said of 
the saint of whom an octave is celebrated, or of the 
Sunday of Lent, etc.; but the custom which has the 
force of law, which exists both in Rome and in other 
places, has declared that within the octave the Preface 
of the octave is to be said, and on the Sundays of Lent 
and of the Paschal time the Preface of Lent or of the 
Paschal time is to be said. 

When the priest has reached the Sanctus he inclines 
moderately and joins his hands before his breast, but 
he does not rest them on the altar, and he says in a 
moderate voice Sanctus, etc. At the words Benedictus 
qui venit, etc., he stands erect and makes the sign of the 
cross on himself, holding his left hand below his breast, 
and continuing in the same tone of voice. But he may 
distribute the words so that at the word Benedictus he 
touches his forehead, his breast when he says qui venit, 
his left shoulder at the words in nomine Domini, and his 
right shoulder when he says Hosanna in excelsis. 

There are some who wish that the priest should here 

144 The Ceremonies of the Mass. 

join his hands; but there are others who say that this is 
not prescribed by the Rubric. To me, however, it seems 
that the hands should be joined; for the Rubric at the 
beginning of the Canon, before Te igitur, says extendens 
manus; hence it supposes that the hands should have 
been joined before. 1 

1 The Rubric should be observed, that is, the hands are not to be 
joined. (See Schober, page 75, note 40.) 

CH. viii.] From the Canon to the Consecration. 145 



I. The Priest recites the Prayer Te igitur. 

"Finita Praefatione, ut supra, Sacerdos stans ante medium 
altaris, versus ad illud, aliquantulum elevat manus, oculisque 
elevatis ad Deum, et sine mora devote demissis, ac manibus 
junctis, et super altare positis, profunde inclinatus incipit Ca- 
nonem, secreto dicens, Te igitur, etc., ut in Ordine Missae. 
Cum dicit, uti accepta habeas et benedicas, prius osculatur altare 
in medio, deinde erigit se, et stat, junctis manibus ante pectus. 
Cum dicit, HCEC do^pna, hcec { munera, h<zc sancta } sacrificia, 
dextra manu signat ter communiter super hostiam et calicem. 
Deinde, extensis manibus ante pectus, prosequitur, in primis, 
qua tibi offerimus, etc. 

" Ubi dicit, Una cum famulo tuo Papa nostro N., exprimit 
nomen Papas: Sede autern vacante verba praedicta omittuntur. 
Ubi dicitur, Et Antistite nostro N., specificatur nomen Patri- 
archae, Archiepiscopi, vel Episcopi, ordinarii in propria dicecesi, 
et non alterius superioris, etiam si celebrans sit omnino ex- 
emptus, vel sub alterius Episcopi jurisdictione. Si vero Epis- 
copus ordinarius illius loci, in quo Missa celebratur, sit vita 
functus, praedicta verba omittuntur, quae etiam omittuntur ab 
iis, qui Romae celebrant." {Rub. Miss. VIII. tit. i et 2.) 

AFTER the Preface, the priest, standing in the middle 
of the altar, immediately extends his hands as high as his 
shoulders, raises his eyes towards the cross, and immedi 
ately lowers his hands and his eyes, and profoundly in 
clined before the altar, with his hands resting on it in the 
usual way, he says, in a low tone of voice: Te igitur, etc. 
And here it must be remarked that the entire Canon 
must be said in a low tone of voice, excepting those 

146 TJie Ceremonies of the Mass. 

parts that are prescribed by the Rubric to be said in a 
loud voice. Gavantus with others asserts that as no 
movement should be made without being accompanied 
by words, the Te tgitur should be said while the fore 
going actions are performed, namely, when the hands 
are extended. But in this Merati, contrary to his cus 
tom, differs from Gavantus in opinion, and with many 
others rightly and clearly demonstrates that the Rubric 
prescribes that the Canon should begin after the hands 
have been placed upon the altar, and that this cannot 
be explained in any other sense; and he cites several 
actions, such as genuflections, the raising of the Host 
and of the chalice, etc., that are performed without 

After the word petimus he kisses the altar, and then, 
standing erect, he joins his hands and says uti accepta 
habeas et benedicas; and having immediately placed his 
left hand on the altar outside of the corporal, he makes 
with his right hand a cross three times over the chalice 
and the Host, saying: Hczc * dona, hcec * munera, hcec 
sancta % sacrificia illibata. How these crosses are to be 
formed we have explained above. 1 Then with his hands 
extended as in the Preface, he continues in a low tone 
of voice: In primis, qua tibi offerimus. At the words 
Papa nostro N., the name of the reigning Pope is men 
tioned, and a simple minimarum minima inclination is 
made towards the Missal; and at the words Antistite 
nostro N. is mentioned the Bishop of the diocese in which 
he celebrates, but without making an inclination. If 
he does not know the name of the Bishop, he will say 
only Antistite nostro, mentally intending to mention the 
Bishop of the diocese. If the place belongs to no dio 
cese, he acts as if the episcopal See were vacant; in 
which case the words Et pro Antistite nostro JV. are to 
be omitted; for a church belonging to no diocese re- 

1 Page 139. 

CH. viu,}From the Canon to the Consecration. 147 

sembles a vacant See, because it has no Bishop to govern 
it. But if the Apostolic See is vacant the words Pro 
famulo tuo Papa nostro N. are omitted. 

2. The Priest makes the Memento for the Living, 

" Cum dicit, Memento Domine, elevans et jungens manus 
usque ad faciem, vel pectus, sic junctis manibus stat paulisper 
in quiete, demisso aliquantulum capita, faciens commemora- 
tionem vivorum Christi fidelium ad suam voluntatem : quorum 
nomina, si vult, commemoret: non tamen necesse est ea ex- 
primere, sed mente tantum eorum memoriam habeat. Potcst 
etiam celebrans, si pro pluribus orare intendit, ne circumstanti- 
bus sit morosus, ante Missam in animo proponere sibi omnes 
illos tarn vivos quam defunctos, proquibus in ipsa Missa orare 
intendit, et hoc loco generaliter, unico contextu, ipsorum 
vivorum commemorationem agere, pro quibus ante Missam 
orare proposuit in Missa." (Rub. Miss. tit. VIII. 3.) 

When he says Memento, etc., he raises and joins his 
hands, so that the extremities of the fingers reach as far 
as the mouth; 1 he does not lower them before his 
breast, but holding them thus raised and joined, and 
with his head inclined a little, he remains quiet for a 
short time. In order to be more recollected, he may 
shut his eyes; but those that lower them would con 
form to the opinion of authors whom Merati regards as of 
the highest authority. And he keeps his eyes thus lowered 
or closed until he says the words Et omnium circum- 
stantium. The letters N. N., that occur in the Canon, 
serve to express all the names of those for whom he 
wishes to pray. In olden times tablets called diptychs 
were used: they were double-folded, and on them were 
registered the names of those for whom prayers were to 
be said. It must be observed that the Memento is best 
made before Mass, in order that he may not become 

1 " Ad vcrbum Memento incipit sacerdos elevare manus et ad tuartim 
cas jungit." (Schober, page 78, note 4 ) 

148 The Ceremonies of the Mass. 

tedious to those that are present. Standing in the 
aforesaid way, the celebrant mentions all the living 
Christians according as his pious, wish may inspire 
him. It must, however, be remarked, with Merati, 
Gavantus, and Tonellius, that in this prayer, which is 
private, the excommunicated, heretics, and infidels may 
be mentioned. 

For the convenience of priests we add here the for 
mula of this Memento, which Cardinal Bona gives in his 
treatise on the Sacrifice of the Mass: 

" O God of heaven and earth, never-failing source of 
every good, I, a most miserable sinner and most un 
worthy minister of Thy Church, because this Sacrifice 
has an infinite power of impetration, I offer it for my 
necessities and those of all the living and the dead. 
And first, the fruit that I can and should derive from it 
I chiefly apply to him for whom I intend to celebrate; 
and if perchance it happens that he does not need it, or 
is incapable of it, I desire and wish that this fruit 
should be obtained by N., with the application of the in 
dulgence to myself, or to such a deceased person. But, 
secondarily, without prejudice to him for whom I am 
primarily obliged or intend 1 to offer it, I offer it for 
all those that are specially recommended to me, for N. 
and N., for obtaining such a grace, . . . and for all the 
living and the dead, for whom Thou wishest me, Thy 
unworthy servant, to exercise Thy ministry, in order 
that, granting rest to the dead, Thou mayest confer upon 
the living the grace of serving Thee and of persevering 
till the end in Thy love. Amen." 2 

1 We may see what St. Alphonsus teaches in regard to the value and 
the application of the fruit of the Mass in his dissertation on the Hono 
rarium. We may also find in the exercises for the Preparation other 
formulas of intention. 

2 " Deus cceli et terras, omnium bonorum fons indeficiens, ego 
miserrimus peccator et Ecclesiae tuae minister indignissimus, quia hoc 

CH. viii.] From the Canon to the Consecration. \ 49 

The same author says: 

" In order that you may remember all for whom you 
must pray, after you have said MEMENTO, DOMINE, 
the prayers may be more efficacious, it will be of great 
profit to unite them to the sufferings of Christ our Lord 
in the following manner: i. You should pray for your 
self by the blood that was shed for us, in order that through 
it you may atone for your sins and obtain those virtues 
that are most necessary for you and for final perse 
verance; 2. By the pierced side you should recommend 
the Church that came forth from it; 3. By the head 
crowned with thorns, the Sovereign Pontiff, all the princes, 
and the whole ecclesiastical hierarchy; 4. By the wound 
of the right hand, your friends, relatives, and benefactors; 
5. By the wound of the left hand, all those that hate you, 
or have given you some trouble or scandal; 6. By his 
transpierced right foot, your Superiors and those things 
that you have confided to them; 7. By his transpierced 
left foot, those that are in mortal sin, that they may re 
turn to the right path; 8. By the scourges, spittle, and blows, 
the heathen, heretics, and the rest of unbelievers, who 
dishonor God; 9. By the crucifixion, the religious of all 
Orders, that they may voluntarily embrace with courage 

sacrificium vim impetratoriam infinitam habet, offero illud pro meis, et 
omnium viventium ac defunctorum necessitatibus; et primo quidem 
fructum, quern possum et debeo, illi principaliter applico, pro quo 
celebrare intendo; et si forte contingat eum non indigere, vel non esse 
capacem, opto et volo hunc fructum ad N. derivari, cum applicatione 
indulgentiarum mihi, vel tali defuncto. Secundario autem, sine ejus 
pnejudicio, pro quo offerre primario teneor vel intendo, offero pro 
omnibus mihi particulariter commendatis, pro N. N. pro tali gratia 
obtinenda, et pro cunctis viventibus, atque defunctis, pro quibus me in- 
dignum famulum tuum legatione apud te fungi voluisti, ut defunctis 
requiem indulgeas, vivisque gratiam concedas tibi serviendi, et in 
amore tuj usque in finem perseverandi. Amen." DC Sacrijic. Afis- 
*ic, c. 4, 6. 

1 50 The Ceremonies of the Mass. 

the sufferings of their martyrdom; 10. By his thirst, all 
those that have you to pray for them. u. By his agony 
in the garden, all those that find themselves in any 
calamity, peril, necessity, temptation, or any trouble 
whatever; 12. "Byte s death and burial, all the just, in 
order that, buried with Jesus Christ, they may persevere 
in justice. But above all, you should pray for those 
whom God wishes you to remember, and whom you do 
not know; for those whom God loves particularly, 
although you know not their number nor their name; 
for it is most pleasing to him that you are mindful of 
his friends." 

1 " Ut omnium recordari possis, quorum recordari et pro quibus 
debes orare, postquam dixisti: Memento, Domine, famulorum famu- 
larumque tuarum, ut ipsae preces vim habeant efficaciorem, multum 
proderit cum Christi Domini cruciatibus illas associare, hunc fere in 
modum: i Pro te ipso orabis per sanguinem pro nobis effusum, ut 
per ilium expieris a peccatis, et eas virtutes obtineas, quae tibi maxime 
sunt necessariae, et finalem perseverantiam. 2 Per latus transfixum, 
Ecclesiam commendabis, quae ex eo orta est. 3 Per caput spinis 
coronatum, summum pontificem, omnesque principes et antistites. 
4 Per vulmis dextercs mamts, amicos, consanguineos et benefactores. 
5 Per vulnus sinistrce, omnes qui te oderunt, vel aliqua molestia aut 
scandalo affecerunt. 6 Per dexterum pedem transforatum, personas 
et negotia a superioribus commendata. 7 Per sinistrum, omnes qui 
sunt in peccato mortali ut in dexteram partem transferantur. 8 Per 
ftagella, sputa et alapas, ethnicos, haereticos, caeterosque infideles, qui 
Deum contumeliis afficiunt. 9 Per crudfixionem, religiosos omnium 
ordinum,ut crucem voluntaries asperitatis libenter ferant. 10 Per sitim, 
eos omnes qui tuas preces expetunt. 11 Per angorent, quern in horto 
pati voluit, omnes qui in aliqua calamitate, periculo, necessitate, 
tentatione aut molestia versantur. 12 Per mortem et sepulturam , 
justos omnes, ut cum ipso sepulti, semper in justitia perseverent, 
speciatim vero pro illis orabis, quorum te Deus meminisse vult, et tu 
nescis; pro his, quos Deus maxime diligit, licet eorum munerum et 
nomina ignores: id enim gratissimum illi cst." 

CH. viii.j From the Canon to tJic Consecration. 1 5 1 

3. The Priest finishes the Prayer Memento, and says the fol 
lowing Prayers : Communicantes, Hanc igitur, et Quam 

"Commemoratione vivorum facta, demissis et extensis ut 
prius manibus, continuat, Et omnium circumstantium, etc. 
Similiter stans prosequitur, Communicantes. Cum dicit, Jesu 
Christi, caput Cruci inclinat : in conclusione, quando dicit Per 
eumdem, jungit manus. Cum dicit, Hanc igitur oblationem 
expandit manus simul super oblata, ita ut palmae sint apertae 
versus ac super calicem et hostiam, quas sic tenet usque ad ilia 
verba, Per Christum Dominum nostrum, tune enim jungit ma 
nus, et sic prosequitur, quam oblationem tu Deus in omnibus 
quasumus, et cum dicit, benc^dictam, adscript am, ratam % 
communiter signat ter super hostiam et calicem simul : deinde 
cum dicit, ttt nobis corpus, separatim signat semel super hostiam 
tantum : et cum dicit, et sanguis, semel super calicem tantuni, 
deinde elevans et jungens manus ante pectus, prosequitur fiat 
dilectissimi Filii tui Domini nostri Jesu Christi, et inclinans 
caput Cruci." (Rub. Miss. tit. VIII. 4.) 

After having finished the commemoration of the 
living, and the application of the special fruit having 
been made, the priest extends and lowers his hands be 
fore his breast, and continues to say et omnium circum- 
stantium as far as the words Per eumdem? etc. When he 
says Communicantes at the name Maria he makes to 
wards the book a simple minimarum media inclination, 
and at the name Jesus he makes towards the cross 
another simple minimarum maxima inclination; and also 
at the name of a saint whose feast is celebrated, if it is 
mentioned in the Canon, he makes towards the Missal a 
minimarum minima inclination. 2 

1 " In conclusione, quando dicit: Per eumdem jungit manus." 
{Rubrica, 1. c., n. 4.) 

8 If a saint has an octave, we must make this inclination not only 
in the Masses in which we make mention of this saint, but also in 
those in which on account of the occurrence of a feast prim a; 
classis or sccundic classis no commemoration is made. This rule does 

152 The Ceremonies of the Mass. 

It must be remarked that in the octaves that have a 
proper Communicantes and Hanc igitur oblationem, if per 
haps there is to be celebrated pro re gram a votive Mass 
that has a proper Preface, as when in the octave of 
Easter there is to be said a Mass of the Holy Ghost or 
of the Blessed Virgin, the Communicantes and Hanc igitur 
must be taken from the octave. So also if there is cele 
brated the feast of the apostles Sts. Philip and James, 
the Preface will be of the apostles and the Communicantes 
of the Ascension, as has been declared by theS. R. C. of 
August 7, 1627. 

When he says Hanc igitur oblationem, etc., he extends 
both hands over the chalice and the Host, so that the 
palms are open over the chalice and the Host. He so 
extends his hands that the tips of the fingers reach as 
far as the middle of the pall, without, however, touch 
ing it; and that the thumbs be crossed, namely, the 
right be placed upon the left, as appears from a decree 
S. R. C., August 4, 1663. 

He should take care not to raise his elbows, but he 
should keep them close to his body, toward his breast; 
and so he remains till Per Dominum, etc. ; for when he says 
this conclusion he again joins his hands and continues 
Quam oblationem. Having said qu&sumus^ the priest 
places his left hand on the altar outside of the corporal, 
and with his right hand he makes three crosses over the 
chalice and the Host at the same time, saying: Bene* 
dictam, ad^scriptam, raJ^tam, etc., in the same manner as 
has been mentioned above. 1 Then he makes another 
sign of the cross over the Host, saying: Ut nobis cor^pus; 
while making this sign he does not lower the hand over 

not apply to the Masses of the Dead: " An in festo Sanctorum qui nomi- 
nantur in Canone, si sint rit. semidupl. vel Missa dicatur de Requiem, 
inclinandum sit caput, quando in Canone nominantur praedicti Sancti ?" 
S. R. C. respondit: " Negative." In una Panormitan. die 12 April, 
1823, ad. 13, n. 4594. Page 139. 

CH. M\\\.\From the Canon to the Consecration. 153 

the Host, as Merati remarks, as it is sufficient for him to 
draw his hand somewhat towards himself in order that 
he may form a transverse line over the Host. After 
wards he makes another cross over the chalice, saying 
San&guis. These two crosses over the Host and the 
chalice should be shorter than the usual crosses. As 
the Rubric indicates that the cross at the word ratam 
should be made in the middle of this word, an incon 
venience seems to occur from being obliged to delay a 
little until the other cross at the word corpus is to be 
made over the Host; this has given rise to different 
opinions. I will only mention here the opinion that 
pleases me; it is this: after having with the right hand 
made the cross at the word ra^tam,\\. should slowly 
move towards the Host, so that when it begins to form 
the cross over the Host, the other words that follow the 
word ratam are already finished. But if the priest is 
slow in pronouncing, then, says Turrinus with others, 
according to Merati, he should place his right hand on 
the altar; for it is an inviolable rule of the Rubric that 
the hand should never remain suspended in the air. 

After having made the five crosses in the manner in 
dicated, the priest raises his hands and joining them 
before his breast, he continues fiat dilectissimi Filii tin, 
Domini nostri Jcsu Christi; and when he says Jesu Christi 
he inclines his head towards the cross. 

4. The Priest consecrates the Host. 

" Extergit, si opus fuerit, pollices et indices super corporalc, 
et dicit secreto, ut prius, Qui pridie quam pateretur, et acci- 
piens polliceet indice dextrae manus hostiam, et earn cum illis 
ac indice et pollice sinistrae manus tenens, stans erectus ante 
medium altaris, dicit, accepit panem in sane t as ac venerabiles 
manus suas, elevansque ad coelum oculos, et statim demittens, 
dicit, et elevatis oculis in coelum ad te Deum Pair cm szium oni- 
nipotentem, caputque aliquantulum inclinans, dicit, tibi gratias 

154 The Ceremonies of the Mass. 

agens, et tenens hostiam inter pollicem, et indicem sinistrae 
manus, dextra producit signum crucis super earn, dicens, bene^f 
dixit, fregit, deditque dtscipulus siti s, dicens : Accipite et man- 
ducate ex hoc omnes. 

" Si adsit vas cum aliis hostiis consecrandis, antequam acci- 
piat hostiam, discooperit manu dextra calicem seu vas aliarum 

" Cum autem finierit supradicta verba, cubitis super altare 
positis, stans capite inclinato, distincte, reverenter et secreto, 
profert verba Consecration is super hostiam, et simul super 
omnes si plures sint consecrandae, et hostiam suis pollicibus et 
indicibus tantum tenens, dicit, Hoc est entm Corpus meum. 

" Quibus prolatis, celebrans, tenens hostiam inter pollices et 
indices praedictos super altare, reliquis manuum digitis extensis 
et simul junctis (et Hostiis, si plures sint consecratae, in loco in 
quo a principio Missae posi-tae sunt, super corporali, vel in alio 
vase, seu calice demissis) genuflexus earn adorat; tune se 
erigens, quantum commode potest, elevat in altum hostiam, et 
intentis in earn oculis (quod et in elevatione Calicis facit) 
populo reverenter ostendit adorandum, et mox sola manu dextra 
ipsam reverenter reponit super corporale in eodem loco undeeam 
levavit, et indices non disjungit, nisi quando Hostiam consecra- 
tam tangere vel tractare debet, usque ad ablutionem digitorum 
post Communionem. 

"Reposita Hostia consecrata super corporale, genuflexus 
ipsam veneratur ; si adsit vas aliarum Hostiarum, patena vel 
palla cooperit, ut supra. 

"Interim dum celebrans elevat Hostiam, accenso prius in- 
torticio * (quod non extinguitur, nisi postquam Sacerdos San- 
guinem sumpserit, vel alios communicaverit, si qui erunt com- 
municandi in Missa), minister manu sinistra elevat fimbrias 
posteriores planetae, ne ipsum celebrantem impediat in ele 
vatione brachiorum ; quod et facit in elevatione Calicis; manu 
dextra pulsat campanulam, ter ad unamquamque elevationem, 
vel continuate quousque Sacerdos deponat Hostiam super cor- 

1 Accenso intorticio. ... In his Moral Theology (1. 6, n. 394) St. 
Alphonsus says: " Probabiliter ait Croix cum Sporer, nullam esse obli- 
gationem accendendi tertiam candelam post Sanctus; sic enim hodie 
communis usus habuit." 

CH. vm.}From the Canon to the Consecration. 155 

porale, et similiter postmodum ad elevationem Calicis." (Rub. 
Miss. tit. VIII. n. 4, 5, and 6.) 

At the words Qui pridie quam pateretur he wipes his 
fingers, namely, his thumbs and forefingers of both 
hands, on the extreme ends of the corporal, but not in 
the middle, where the consecrated Host is to be placed, 
and in the mean time with the forefinger and the thumb 
of the right hand he takes the Host, saying, accepit 
panem. In order that the Host may be more easily 
taken, he presses with the forefinger of the left hand 
the edge of the Host; and when he says in sanctas ac 
venerabiles manus suas, he takes it up with the thumb and 
forefinger of the left hand, extending and joining the 
other fingers. He should take care to hold the Host 
erect, not horizontally, as he himself should stand erect 
in the middle of the altar. 

At the words et elevatis oculis in cxlum he raises his 
eyes to the cross, and he keeps them raised, says Baul- 
dry, until he has said all the other words, ad te Deum 
Patrem suum omnipotentem; then he immediately lowers 
them, and inclining the head, he says, tibi gratias agens. 
While saying benefrdixit he makes with his right hand a 
cross over the Host, which, as has been said, he holds 
somewhat raised above the corporal. If there is behind 
the chalice a ciborium, he puts it by the side of the 
chalice and uncovers it before he begins Qui pridie, that 
is, before he wipes his fingers on the corporal. After 
saying the words deditque discipulus suis? the priest hav 
ing becomingly placed his elbows on the altar, without 
however, touching the altar with his hands, and with 
his feet joined and equi-distant from the altar, he mod 
erately inclines his head and shoulders, and distinctly 
and with reverence, without raising his voice, pro- 

1 This is to be a simple minima rum maxima inclination. 
9 But the Rubric mentioned above says: " Cum aotcm finierit supra- 
dicta verba (i.e., bcnedixit, . . . ex hoc omnes), etc. 

156 The Ceremonies of the Mass. 

nounces the words (profert secreto, says the Rubric), as 
it were, breathing them forth (a fiato], so that he may 
not be heard by the bystanders, saying, Hoc est, etc. 
The priest, when he consecrates the Host, should take 
care not to make any movement of the head or mouth, 
not to pronounce the form with a certain vehemence, 
not to bring the Host too near his mouth, or his mouth 
too near the Host; but he should pronounce the words 
distinctly, putting no interval between the words. 

After the priest has pronounced the words of conse 
cration of the Host, he holds the same consecrated Host 
between his thumbs and forefingers, the other fingers be 
ing at the same time joined and extended, and the hands 
also closely joined ;he withdraws his elbows from the altar 
so that only his hands as far as the wrists remain on the 
altar at the extremity of the corporal. Then he genu 
flects only on one knee, without an inclination of the head ; 
for it must be observed that when a genuflection is made 
the head must not be inclined, as some wrongly do. This 
genuflection should be made with greater reverence, and 
therefore with a slight pause, 1 and the same thing should 
be observed in the adoration of the chalice. After hav 
ing made this first adoration, and while holding his 
hands joined and his fingers extended, he raises the 
Host perpendicularly over the place where the corporal 
is, a little higher than his head so that his wrists are on 
a level with his eyes, without moving the Host over his 
head, but he elevates it so that it may be seen and 
adored by the people; and after having thus held it for 
a short time, he slowly lowers it and puts it in the place 
whence he took it. In order to do this more easily, he 
puts while laying down the Host the ends of his fingers 
on the corporal at a distance of about three inches 

1 Authors are not agreed whether or not the genuflection is to be 
made with a pause (niorula). The Rubric says nothing about it; it 
should therefore be omitted. 

CH. vm.]From the Canon to the Consecration. 157 

from the place where the Host is to be put, and hav 
ing thus placed his left hand, with his right he takes the 
Host in the middle, near the border and puts it in its 
place. The Host having been placed on the corporal, 
if there is present a ciborium or a chalice contain 
ing particles, he again covers the ciborium with its own 
cover, or the chalice with a pall, and places it behind 
the chalice where it had been before, and then having 
made a genuflection, he stands erect. 1 
It must here be remarked that 

1. During the elevation of the Host as well as of the 
chalice the eyes should never be turned from them; 

2. From the Consecration of the Host till the ablu 
tion, as often as a genuflection is to be made or the 
altar is to be kissed, the hands should be separated and 
extended upon the corporal; but the thumbs and the 
forefingers should remain joined, and should not be dis 
joined unless the Host is to be handled; 

3. As often as the Host is to be taken up or laid 
down, the last three fingers should be extended, but 
should not be bent, so -that there may be no danger of 
touching the Host with other fingers than the thumbs 
and forefingers; 

4. Between the words of Consecration of the Host, as 
also of the chalice and the preceding words, namely, 
Qui pridie and Postquam coenatum est, other prayers, 
though mental and devout, should not be inserted; 
for Le Brun 2 defends at great length the opinion that 
the Consecration is accomplished not only by the 
words of our Saviour, but also by the preceding words, 
and especially by the prayer that precedes ?// nobis Cor 
pus et Sanguis fiat. And this he proves by citing the 
Council held in Rome by Gregory VII. against Beren- 

1 According to the Rubric, a genuflection should be made before 
covering the ciborium. (See Schober, page 86, note 18.) 

2 Torn. 3, a. 17, qu. 2 (ct in dissert. I. 4). 

158 The Ceremonies of the Mass. 

garius, where it is said that bread and wine are changed 
into the body and the blood of Jesus Christ as well by 
the words of our Lord as by the holy prayer: Per mys- 
terium sacra orationis et per verba Redemptoris converti in 
carnem et sanguincm Jesu Christi; and he quotes in favor 
of this opinion the authority of twenty Doctors of the 
Sorbonne. Scotus, for some other reason, doubts whether 
the consecration is brought about solely by the words 
Hoc cst corpus meum ; for if (he says) the words qui 
pridie quam pateretur are not premised, it is not indicated 
that the words Hoc est, etc., are those that Jesus Christ 
has spoken. The contrary opinion, according to which 
only the wards Hoc est corpus, etc., Hie est calix, etc., are 
sufficient for the consecration is common to Tournely, 
Juvenin, Gonet, Concina, Frassen, Lugo, and others, 
who prove it from a decree of Eugene IV. published in 
the Council of Florence, which reads thus: Forma hujus 
Sacramenti sunt verba Salvatoris, quibus hoc conficitur Sac- 
ramentum. The other opinion, however, does not seem 
to be altogether improbable; the more so since the 
Rubric prescribes for the case in which the form is to 
be repeated on account of a doubt in regard to the 
matter that one should begin at the words Qui pridie. 
Therefore the sense of the preceding words and of the 
words of Jesus Christ must not be interrupted by the 
insertion of vocal or mental prayers. 

It must be observed that the thumbs and the fore 
fingers should thenceforth remain joined till their ablu 
tion, which takes place after the receiving of the pre 
cious blood, and are opened only when the Host is to 
be taken up. 

5. The Priest consecrates the Chalice. 

"Celebrans, adorato Sacramento, surgit et discooperit cali- 
cem, in quern, si opus sit, extergit digitos ; quod semper faciat, 
si aliquod fragmentum digitis adhaereat ; et stans erectus, dicit ; 

CH. viii.] From the Canon to the Consecration. 159 

Simili modo postquain cwnatum est, et ambabus manibus acci- 
piens calicem juxta nodum infra cuppam, et aliquantulum ilium 
elcvans, ac statim deponens dicit, Accipiens et hunc prceclarum 
Calicem, etc., cum dicit, Item tibi gratias agens, caput inclinat, 
cum dicit, Benc^dixit, sinistra calicem infra cuppam teuens, 
dextra signal super eum ; et prosequens Deditque discipulis suis, 
etc., et ambabus manibus tenens calicem, videlicet, sinistra 
pedem, dextra nodum infra cuppam, cubitis super altare positis, 
et capite inclinato, profert attente, continuate, et secreto, ut 
supra, verba Consecration is Sanguinis : Hie est enim Calix, etc. 
Quibus dictis, reponit calicem super corporate, dicens secreto 
Hccc quotiescumque feceritis, etc., genufiexus Sanguinem reve- 
renter adorat. Turn se erigit, et, accipiens Calicem discooper- 
tum cum Sanguine ambabus manibus, ut prius, elevat eum, et 
erectum, quantum commode potest, ostendit populo adorandum, 
mox ipsum reverenter reponit super corporale, in locum pristi- 
num, et manu dextra palla cooperit, genuflexus Sacramentum 
veneratur. " (Rub. Miss. tit. VIII. 7.) 

After having raised the Host he makes a genuflection 
(but the genuflection is made with the right knee, which 
must touch the ground near the left foot). Then he 
rises, and with his right hand uncovers the chalice; he 
holds the left hand either on the corporal, or what is 
better, he holds it at the foot of the chalice, and takes the 
pall between the middle finger and the forefinger joined 
to the thumb. He places the pall on the end of the 
folded veil; then he purifies the forefingers and the 
thumbs, rubbing them together lightly over the mouth 
of the chalice, so that if there should be any fragments 
adhering to the fingers they may fall into the chalice: 
this should always be done when the Host has been 
touched. Standing erect, he says: Simili modo, etc. 

He takes the chalice with both hands in the following 
manner: Four fingers, namely, the thumbs and fore 
fingers joined should be put between the cup and the 
knob of the chalice in front, and the other fingers behind 
it (the Rubric says/V/.rta nodum infra cuppani), and stand- 

160 The Ceremonies of the Mass. 

ing thus he raises the chalice over the corporal !n a 
straight line about four inches, saying: Accipiens et hunc 
prxclarum Calicem, and at once replaces it in the same 
place. At the words tibi gr -alias agens he makes a simple 
inclination of the head. 1 At bene^dixit he makes with 
his right hand across over the chalice, holding the knob 
with his left hand. 2 Then leaning with both elbows on 
the altar, he holds the chalice at the foot with three 
fingers of his left hand, and holds the knob with his 
right, so that the thumb and forefinger are placed in 
front, and the other fingers behind. Thus moderately 
inclined, and holding the chalice straight, but not inclined 
towards the mouth, and a little raised over the corporal, 
he attentively and without any interruption pronounces 
the words: Hie est enim, etc. 

After having pronounced these words he again places 
the chalice on the corporal, and says: H<zc quotiescumque, 
etc., at the same time he devoutly genuflects and adores. 
Having risen, he takes hold of the chalice with the right 
hand at the knob in the above-mentioned way, namely, 
with the thumb and the forefinger in front, holding the 
foot with the three fingers of the left hand. He raises 
the chalice perpendicularly, always following it with his 
eyes, without, however, turning it around in a circle 
above his head, as many awkwardly do; he raises it so 
high that the eyes of the celebrant can see below the 
foot of the chalice, and that the chalice may be seen 
by the people; for a moment he holds the chalice thus 
raised, that the people may adore it. Then he again 
lowers it in following the same perpendicular line, and 
puts it in the place it occupied before. 

1 That is a simple minimarum maxima inclination. 

2 The Rubric says: " Sinistra calicem infra cuppam tenens, dextra 
signal super eum." 

CH. ix.] From Consecration to Pater ff osier. 1 6 1 



i. The Priest says the Prayers Unde et Memores, Supra 
quae, and Supplices. 

"Reposito Calice et adorato, Sacerdos, stans ante altare, 
extensis manibus ante pectus, dicit secreto, Unde et memores, 
etc. Cum dicit, de tuts donis ac datis, jungit manus ante pectus ; 
et cum dicit, Hostiam puJ^ram, Host tarn ^ sanctam, Hostiam 
im^maculatam, manu sinistra posita super altare intra corporale, 
dextra signal ter communiter super Hostiam et Calicem, et 
semel super Hostiam tantum, et semel super Calicem tantum, 
clicens, Panem ^ sanctum vitcc ceternce, et Calicem ^ salutis per- 
petucc. Deinde, stans ut prius, extensis manibus, prosequitur, 
Supra qua propitio, etc. Cum dicit, Supplices te rogamus, etc., 
inclinat se ante medium altaris, manibus junctis super illo positis. 
Cum dicit, ex hac Altaris participations, osculatur altare, mani 
bus hinc inde super corporale positis. Cum dicit, sacrosanctum 
Filii tui, jungit manus ; et, dextra signans semel super Hostiam 
tantum, et semel super Calicem, sinistra super corporale posita, 
dicit, Cor^pus, et San^guinem sumpserimus, et cum dicit, omni 
benedictione <%* eeriest i, seipsum signal a fronte ad pectus signo 
crucis, sinistra posita infra pectus, et prosequitur : et gratia re- 
pleamur. Cum dicit, per eumdem, jungit manus." (Rub. Miss. 
tit. IX. c. i.) 

HAVING replaced the chalice on the altar, and having 
adored it by making a genuflection, the celebrant rises, 
and standing erect, with his hands extended before his 
breast, and turned towards the Missal, he says: Unde et 
memores Domine, etc. At the words de tuis donis ac datis, 
he joins his hands, and then places his left hand on the 

1 62 The Ceremonies of the Mass. 

corporal, and with his right hand he forms three crosses 
over the Host and the chalice together, saying: Hostiam 
^ pur am, Hostiam ^ sanctam, Hostiam ^ immaculatam, and 
he makes a cross once over the Host, saying, Pattern * 
sanctum vitcc czterncB, and once over the chalice, saying: 
Et Calicem % salutis perpetucE. Then with his hands ex 
tended he continues: Supra qua, etc. 

When he says Supplices te rogamus, he inclines pro 
foundly, holding the hands joined and resting on the 
edge of the altar as at the Introit, that is to say, the 
small fingers should touch the front of the altar, with the 
other fingers resting on the altar and joined to the fore 
fingers and thumbs. 1 After the words Ut quotqiiot he 
kisses the altar while moving back a little, and on rising 
he joins his hands. 2 Then having placed his left hand 
on the corporal, he makes with the right hand a cross 
over the Host, saying, Sacrosanctum Filii tiii cor^pus ; 
then he makes another cross over the chalice, saying: 
San^guinem sumpserimus. But when he says Omni 
benedictione ^ ccelesti et gratia repleamur, he signs himself, 
holding his left hand below the breast; and at the words 
Per eumdem, etc., he joins his hands according to the 

2. The Priest makes the Memento for the Dead. 

"Cum dicit, Memento etiam, Domine famulorum famula- 
rumque tuarum, etc,, extensis et junctis manibus ante pectus, 
et usque ad faciem elevatis, et intentis oculis ad Sacramentum 
super altare, facit commemorationem fidelium defunctorum, de 
quibus sibi videtur, eodem modo ut dictum est de commemora- 

1 " An sacerdos ponere debeat manus intra coporale, dum dicit ora- 
tiones Supplices te rogamtts et orationes ante communionem?" S. R. C. 
respondit: " Servandas esse rubricas quae jubent manus ponendas esse 
super altare, non intra corporate. " (In una Tudcn. die 7 Sept., 1886.) 

* This is better explained by the foregoing Rubric of the Mass: " Cum 
dicit: Ex hac altaris," etc 

CH. ix.] From Consecration to Pater Noster. 1 63 

tione vivorum. Qua commemoratione facta, stans ut prius 
extensis manibus prosequitur, Ipsis Domine, et omnibus in 
Christo, etc., et in fine, ad per cumdem jungit manus, et caput 
inclinat." (Rub. Miss. tit. IX. 2.) 

When he says Memento etiam Domine, etc., he separates 
his hands and joins them slowly, so that he finishes join 
ing them at the words in somno pads. Having joined his 
hands before his breast, as has been done and said at the 
Memento for the living, holding his head inclined, and his 
eyes fixed on the Blessed Sacrament, he makes for a 
short time a commemoration of the dead. After this he 
lowers his hands before his breast, and holding them dis 
joined, he continues: Ipsis, Domine, etc. At the words 
Per eumdem he again joins his hands, and when he says 
Christum he inclines the head. According to the general 
rule, the head is to be inclined only at the name Jesus; 
but in this place, and not elsewhere, it is prescribed by 
the Rubric. Bauldry wishes that the inclination should 
be continued until after the following words: Nobis 
quoque peccatoribus ; but this opinion is singular, and 
does not seem to me to be in accordance with the 

3. The Priest says the Prayers Nobis quoque peccatoribus and 
Per quern hsec omnia. 

"Cum dicit, Nobis quoque peccatoribus, vocem aliquantulum 
elevat, et dextra manu pectus sibi percutit, sinistra posita super 
corporale, et prosequitur secreto, famuli s tuts, etc., stans mani 
bus extensis ut prius. Cum dicit, Per Christum Dominum nos 
trum. Per quern hccc omnia Domine semper bona creas, jungit 
manus ante pectus: delude manu dextra ter signans commu- 
niter super Hostiam et Calicem, dicit, san^ctificas, vivi^pficas, 
benc^dicis, et prcrstas nobis. Postea discooperit manu dextra 
Calicem, et genuflexus Sacramentum adorat : turn se erigit, et 
reverenter accipit Hostiam inter pollicem, et indicem dextrae 
manus; et cum ea super Calicem, quern manu sinistra tenet 

1 64 The Ceremonies of the Mass. 

circa nodum infra cuppam, signal ter a labio ad labium, dicens, 
Per ipq?sum, et cum ^ ipso, et in ip^so. Similiter cum Hostia 
signal bis inter Calicem et pectus, incipiens a labio Calicis, el 
dicit, est tibi Deo Pa^tri omnipotent i in unit ate Spiritus^ sancti. 
Deinde lenens manu dexlra Hosliam super Calicem, sinistra 
Calicem, eleval eum aliquanlulum simul cum Hoslia, dicens 
omnis honor et gloria, el slalim utrumque deponens, Hostiara 
collocal super corporale, el si opus sit, digilos extergit, ul supra; 
ac pollices et indices ut prius jungens, Calicem palla cooperit, 
el genuflexus Sacramentum adorat." (Rub. Miss. til. IX. 3.) 

Then he puts his left hand upon the corporal, and 
standing erect, he strikes his breast with the extremities 
of his three fingers, saying in a moderate voice: Nobis 
quoque peccatoribus, and with his hands extended as before 
he continues, and again joins them when he says: Per 
Christum Dominum nostrum. And thus continuing in the 
same attitude he says: Per quern htzc omnia, Domine, sem 
per bona creas, and then he forms three crosses conjointly, 
as has been explained above, saying: Sanctfoficas, vivi* 
ficas, bene^rdicis, et pr&stas nobis. Afterwards with his 
right hand he uncovers the chalice, his left hand being 
placed on the corporal, or, as others wish, on the foot of 
the chalice, taking the pall between the middle and the 
forefinger that is joined to the thumb, and having placed 
it on the folded veil he genuflects. 

Having risen he takes with the thumb and forefinger 
of his right hand the Host at the side a little below the 
middle, and holding the chalice by the knob with his left 
hand, he forms with the Host the sign of the cross three 
times over the chalice from rim to rim, without however 
touching the edges in straight lines without any break, 
saying: Per ip^sum, ct cum ip^so, et in ip^so. Then with 
the same Host he makes two other crosses between the 
chalice and his breast, saying: Est tibi Deo Patri * om- 
nipotenti in unitate Spiritus^ sancti. These two crosses are 
formed in the same direction, so that the height of the 
Host always corresponds with the height of the rim of 

CH. ix.j From Consecration to Pater Noster. 165 

the chalice; but the crosses should not extend beyond 
the corporal or pass beyond the left arm, which for this 
reason should be bent. He then with his right hand car 
ries the Host over the chalice in a straight line, not in a 
circle, and raises a little the chalice together with the 
Host, saying at the same time in a low voice- Omnis honor 
et gloria. Having then put the chalice on the corporal 
and the Host in its place, he purifies his thumbs and fore 
fingers over the chalice, not on its rim, covers it again 
with the pall, and makes a genuflection. 

1 66 The Ceremonies of the Mass. 




i. The Priest recites the Pater noster, and begins the Libera 
nos quaesumus. 

"Celebrans, cooperto Calice, adoratoque Sacramento, erigit 
se, et manibus extensis hinc inde super Altare infra corporale 
positis, dicit intelligibili voce Per omnia scccula saculorum, et 
cum dicit Or emits jungit manus, caput Sacramento inclinans. 
Cum incipit Pater nosier extendit manus, et stans, oculis ad 
Sacramentum intentis, prosequitur usque ad finem. Response 
a mimstro Sed libera nos a malo, et a celebrante, submissa voce 
Amen, manu dextra, pollice et indice non disjunctis, patenam 
aliquantulum purificatorio extergens, earn accipit inter indicem 
et medium digitos; quam tenens super altare erectam, sinistra 
super corporale posita, dicit secreto libera nos qucesumus, etc."- 
(Rub. Mzss.tit. X. i.) 

THE priest, standing erect, places his hands, now sepa 
rated, on the corporal, and says in a loud voice: Per 
omnia scecula saculorum; then raising his hands and join 
ing them, and inclining his head towards the Blessed 
Sacrament, he says: Oremus, etc. Raising his head he 
holds his hands joined till the Pater noster; but when 
he says Pater noster, he extends his hands before his 
breast and fixes his eyes on the Blessed Sacrament up 
to the words Et ne nos inducas in tentationem ; and the 
server having answered: Sed libera nos a malo t the priest 
says in a low tone of voice, Amen. J 

1 The hands should be extended usque ad finem, according to the 

CH. x.] From Pater Noster to Communion. 167 

Afterwards, 1 placing his left hand on the corporal, he 
takes with his right hand the purificator without sepa 
rating the forefinger from the thumb, and slightly rubs 
the paten drawn from under the corporal; he leaves the 
purificator a short distance from the corporal on the 
Epistle side. Then taking the paten between the fore 
finger and the middle finger he holds it upright so that 
the gilt or concave side looks towards the Host, and its 
edge rests on the altar cloth, but not on the corporal; he 
keeps his hand on the upper part of the paten, and thus 
standing he says the prayer Libera nos, etc. 

2. The Priest continues until after the Agnus Dei. 

" Antequam celebrans dicat Da propitius pacem, elevat manu 
dextra patenam de altari, et seipsum cum ea signat signo crucis 
a fronte ad pectus dicens, Da propitius pacem in diebus nostris. 
Cum signat se, manum sinistram ponit infra pectus : deinde 
patenam ipsam osculatur, et, prosequens, ut ope misericordia 
tucp, etc., submittit patenam Hostiae, quam indice sinistro accom- 
modat super patenam, discooperit Calicem et genuflexus Sacra- 
mentum adorat ; turn, se erigens, accipit Hostiam inter pollicem 
et indicem dextrae manus et cum illis, ac pollice et indice sinis- 
trae manus earn super Calicem tenens, reverenter frangit per 
medium, dicens, Per eumdem Dominum nostrum Jesum Christum 
Filium tuum, et mediam partem, quam inter pollicem et indi 
cem dextrae manus tenet, ponit super patenam : de ilia media, 
quam sinistra manu tenet, frangit cum pollice et indice dextrae 
manus particulam, prosequens, Qui tecum viva et regnat, etc., 
et earn inter ipsos dextrae manus pollicem et indicem retinens, 
partem majorem, quam sinistra tenet, adjungit mediae, super 
patenam positae, interim dicens, in unitate Spiritus sancti Deus, 
et particulam Hostiae, quam in dextra manu retinuit, tenens 
super Calicem, quern sinistra per nodum infra cuppam retinet- 
intelligibili voce dicit, Per omnia sacula scrculorum. R. Amen, et 
cum ipsa particula signans ter a labio ad labium Calicis, dicit, 
Pax Domini sit semper vobiscum. Response per ministrum, Et 

1 Note the word afterwards (posted), for then only after the priest has 
said Au ii, and not before he places his left hand on the corporal, etc* 

1 68 The Ceremonies of the Mass. 

cum spiritu tuo, particulam, quam dextra manu tenet, immittit 
in Calicem, dicens secreto, Hcec commixtio et consecratio Corporis, 
etc. Deinde pollices et indices super Calicem aliquantulum 
tergit et jungit, Calicem palla cooperit, et genuflexus Sacra- 
mentum adorat, surgit, et stans junctis manibus ante pectus, 
capite inclinato versus Sacramentum, dicit intelligibili voce, 
Agnus Dei qui tollis peccata mundz, et dextra percutiens sibi 
pectus, sinistra super corporale posita, dicit, miserere nobis, et 
deinde non jungit manus, sed iterum percutit sibi pectus, cum 
dicit secundo, miserere nobis, quod et tertio facit, cum dicit, 
dona nobis pacem," (Rub. Miss. tit. X, 2.) 

After the words omnibus Sanctis and before he says Da 
propitius pacem, he makes with the paten the sign of the 
cross on himself, holding his left hand below his breast; 
he kisses the paten, and then says: Da propitius pacem, 
because the Rubric prescribes that after the words 
omnibus Sanctis : signat se cum patena a fronte ad pectus et 
earn osculatur j and after these words the prayer Da pro 
pitius pacem ... is said. Some one has expressed the 
opinion that the paten should be kissed after the word 
pacem, saying that this is thus prescribed by the Cere- 
moniale Episcoporum. 1 But I find nothing there that is 
different from the words of the Missal just quoted; for 
there we read: Antequam dicat verba : Da propitius, etc., 
signat se cum ea a fronte ad pectus, et reliqua dicit et facit, qua 
in Missali ponuntur. The Ceremonial, therefore, says 
nothing about the kiss, but refers in all things to the 
Rubric of the Missal, according to which the kiss is pre 
scribed before the celebrant says Da propitius pacem. 
The paten, however, should be kissed by him at the 
upper edge, near his hand. Tonellius and Bauldry say 
that the cross should be begun at the words cum beatis 
Apostolis. But when the priest says ut ope miser icor dice, 
etc., he puts the paten under the Host, using the fore 
finger of the left hand to bring the Host to the middle 

1 Lib. 2, c. 8, n. 73. 

CH. x.] From Pater Noster to Communion. 169 

of the paten, and he shall take care to place the front 
part of the paten on the foot of the chalice in order that 
the Host and the paten may be taken more conveniently. 
He then uncovers the chalice, places the pall on the 
veil, and while putting his hands on the corporal he makes 
a genuflection. He presses with the forefinger of the left 
hand on the side of the Host, and takes it in the middle 
with the forefinger and the thumb of the right hand, 
raises it over the chalice, and divides it reverently and by 
degrees with the thumbs and forefingers of both hands 
while holding it over the chalice; namely, he first bends 
it two or three times backwards and forwards, straight 
down the middle, beginning at the upper part, taking care 
that no particles fly off behind the chalice, thus he will be 
able more easily to divide it in the middle. The one 
half that he holds in his right hand he lays down on the 
paten, and of the other half that he holds in the left hand 
he detaches with the forefinger and thumb of the right 
hand a small particle, and with this particle he makes, 
as will presently be mentioned, the crosses over the 
chalice. When he divides the Host he says: Per citm- 
dem Dominum nostrum Jesum Christum f ilium tmtm; after 
the word tuum he places the part that he holds in his 
right hand on the paten, and when he says Qui tccum 
vivit et rcgnat, he detaches with his right hand, as has 
already been said, a particle of the other half; and while 
saying in imitate, etc., he joins this half to the other half 
that is on the paten. While with his right hand he still 
holds the particle over the chalice, and with his left hand 
the knob of the chalice, he says in a loud voice : Per 
omnia scecula sceculorum; and after the server has answered 
Amen, he makes with this particle three crosses over 
the chalice, from rim to rim, in a straight line, without 
making pauses, and without touching with the Host the 
rim of the chalice, and he says at the same time: Pax ^ 
Domini sit % semper robisJ^cnm. The server having an- 

i 70 The Ceremonies of the Mass. 

swered Et cum Spiritu tuo, tne priest lets the particle 
fall into the chalice, saying in a low voice: Hcec com- 
mixtio, etc. At the name fesu Christi\\e makes a simple 
minimarum maxima inclination. Then he rubs his fingers 
over the chalice, covers the chalice with the pall, genu 
flects, rises, and inclining only the head \Capite inclinato 
versus Sacramentum, says the Rubric] he says in a loud 
voice: Agnus Dei, etc. 

While saying Miserere nobis he places his left hand on 
the corporal, and keeps it there until he has said Agnus 
Dei three times, and striking his breast three times with 
the last three fingers of his right hand, he says Miserere 
nobis and dona nobis pacem. 

3. The Priest receives the Sacred Host. 

"Tune, manibus junctis supra altare positis, oculisque ad 
Sacramentum intends, inclinatus dicit secreto, Domine Jesu 
Ckriste, etc., qua oratione finita, . . . statim subjungit alias 
orationes, ut in Ordine Missae. 

" Quibus orationibus dictis, genuflectens Sacramentum adorat, 
et, se erigens, dicit secreto, Panem ccelestem accipiam, etc., quo 
dicto, dextra manu accipit de patena reverenter ambas partes 
Hostise, et collocat inter pollicem et indicem sinistrae manus, qui- 
bus patenam inter eumdem indicem et medium digitos supponit, 
et, eadern manu sinistra tenens partes hujusmodi super patenam 
inter pectus et Calicem, parum inclinatus, dextra tribus vicibus 
percutit pectus suum, interim etiam tribus vicibus dicens voce 
aliquantulum elevata, Domine non sum dignus, et secreto prose- 
quitur, ut intres, etc. 

" Quibus tertio dictis, ex sinistra accipit ambas partes prae- 
dictas Hostise inter pollicem et indicem dextrae manus, et cum 
ilia super patenam signat seipsum signo crucis, ita tamen, ut 
Hostia non egrediatur limites patense, dicens, Corpus Domini 
nostri Jesu Christi custodiat animam meam in vitam ceternam, 
Amen, et se inclinans, cubitis super altare positis, reverenter 
easdem ambas partes sumit: quibus sumptis, deponit patenam 
super corporale, et erigens se junctis indicibus et pollicibus, 
ambas quoque manus ante faciem jungit, et aliquantulum 

CH. x.] From Pater Nostcr to Communion. 171 

quiescit in meditatione Sanctissimi Sacramenti." {Rub. Miss. 
tit. X. 3, 4.) 

Then holding his hands on the altar, as has been said 
at the beginning of Chapter IV,, 1 and inclining mod 
erately, with his eyes fixed on the Blessed Sacrament, 
he says in a Low voice the three prayers of the MissaL 2 

Having recited these prayers, he genuflects, and in a 
low voice says: Pancm ccelestem accipiam, etc.; then with 
the thumb and forefinger of the right hand he reverently 
takes from the paten both parts of the Host, and holds 
them with his left hand in such a manner that they 
form a round figure or nearly so, and places that part 
which is towards the Gospel side a little over the other 
part, then below the Host that is thus held he puts the 
paten between the forefingers and the other fingers which 
are so extended that they support it. He should not 
rest the arm on the altar: however, as the Rubric is not 
opposed to this, it may be done in case he suffers from 
weakness, but only outside of the corporal. He holds 
the paten about four inches above the corporal, and in 
clining a little, he says three times Domine, non sum dig- 
mis, in a somewhat loud tone of voice, while striking 
his breast each time as at the Agnus Dei, and without 
turning sideways, as some do. The rest, Ut intres, etc., 
he says in a low voice. He next takes with the thumb 
and the forefinger of the right hand the two parts of 
the Host by placing the part that is towards the Gospel 
side over the other part, and makes over himself with 
the Host the sign of the cross by drawing a perpendicular 
line of about a palm in length above the paten, which 
he holds in his left hand, taking care in making the 
cross that the Host does not pass beyond the limits of 
the paten, saying in the mean time: Corpus Domini nos- 

1 Page 1 08. 

2 As the body is already inclined, no inclination of the head is to be 
made at the name Jesus. 

1 72 The Ceremonies of the Mass. 

tri, etc., and inclining his heacfat the name Jesu Christi, 
etc. Then leaning his arms on the altar, and moder 
ately inclining, he reverently receives Holy Commu 
nion, holding the paten under the Host. He should 
pay attention while taking the Host not to put his 
tongue out of his mouth, and not to chew the Host; and 
in order that it may not adhere to the roof of the mouth 
he should put it under his tongue, and there bend it. 
If it, however, adheres to the roof of the mouth, he should 
try to remove it with his tongue; but if some particle 
should remain, he should swallow it when taking the 
precious blood and the ablution. 

After having received the sacred species he replaces 1 
the paten on the corporal, and standing erect and hold 
ing his thumbs and forefingers united, he joins his 
hands, raises them as far as his chin, and remains a short 
time in meditation on the Blessed Sacrament. 

4. The Priest takes the Precious Blood. 

" Deinde, depositis manibus, dicit secreto, Quid retribuam 
Domino pro omnibus qua retribuit mihi? et interim discooperit 
Calicem, genuflectit, surgit, accipit patenam, inspicit corporale, 
colligit fragmenta cum patena, si quae sint in eo, patenamque 
diligenter cum pollice et indice dextrae manus super Calicem 
extergit, et ipsos digitos, ne quid fragmentorum in eis rema- 

v Si vero adsint Hostiae consecratae super corporale positae, 
pro alio tempore conservandae, facta prius genuflexione, reponit 
eas in vas ad hoc ordinatum ; et diligenter advertit, ne aliquod 
fragmentum, quantumcumque minimum, remaneat super cor 
porale; quod si fuerit, accurate reponit in Calicem. 

" Post extersionem patenae, junctis pollicibus et indicibus, 
Calicem dextra manu infra nodum cuppae accipit, sinistra pa- 

1 " Hie nonnulli abstergunt digitos super patenam; sed non recte 
faciunt, quia turn a Rubrica hie id non prescribitur, turn non super 
patenam, sed super calicem digit! abstergendi sunt." (Schober, page 
98, note 15.) 

CH. x. j From Pater Nostcr to Communion. 1 73 

tenam, dicens, Caliccm salutaris, etc., et signansse signo crucis 
cum Calice, dicit, Sanguis Domini nostri, etc., et maim sinistra 
supponens patenam Calici, stans reverenter sumit totum San- 
guinem cum particula in Calice posita." (Rttb. Miss. tit. X. 4 

Then having disjoined his hands, he places his left 
hand on the corporal or on the foot of the chalice, and 
uncovers the chalice with his right hand, saying Quid 
retribuam Domino, etc. 1 After these words, having 
placed his hands on the corporal, he genuflects with a 
pause, 2 and then, holding his left hand on the corporal, 
he diligently gathers with the paten the fragments. If 
the priest has to remove the chalice in order to gather 
the fragments, he should do so before he genuflects. 
Then holding the paten with his left hand over the 
chalice, with the forefinger, which is no longer united 
with the thumb, but is entirely free, he causes the frag 
ments to fall into the chalice, and then rubs the front 
parts of the fingers together, not at the edge, but over 
the mouth of the chalice, so that, should there be any 
fragment left, it may fall into the chalice. 

Here the Rubric remarks that if there are consecrated 
particles on the corporal to be preserved, or if there is 
another Host for Exposition of the Blessed Sacrament, 3 

1 " Juxta hanc Rubricam utique in collectione fragmentorum moral- 
iter possibilis dfligentia et advertentia requiritur, ne quid fragmentum 
super corporale aut patenam remaneat, et irreverentia committatur; 
sed multi, minus recte, nimiam et superfluam diligentiam adhibent, 
corporale et patenam fricant et perfricant, ut particulas, quse non sunt 
fragmenta sacrae hostiae, sed fila et fragmenta corporalis aut aliarum 
rerum, colligant, et in hac collectione tempus ita conterunt, ut finis 
ejus vix expectandus sit." (Ibid, page 98, note 17.) 

2 Cfr. note i, page 156. 

3 " Peccaret graviter sacerdos, si hostiam majorem in Missa conse- 
cratam reponeret in tabernaculo, et ejus loco sumeret hostiam, quae in 
eodem tabernaculo antea continebatur; ipse enim de suo sacrificio 
participare debet. Cfr. Can. Relatum de Consecr. distinct. II. Hostv- 
am, e monstrantia sumptam sumit, vel unacum altera sacrincii (Rubr. 

1 74 The Ceremonies of the Mass. 

he must first put them into the ciborium or the mon 
strance, after having made a genuflection, and then the 
corporal should be purified and the precious blood 
should be received. The precious blood having been 
received and the first ablution having been made, the 
ciborium or monstrance is put back into the tabernacle. 
This is to be done only when the ciborium is outside of 
the tabernacle; for if it is in the tabernacle, the particles 
are to be put into the ciborium after receiving the 
precious blood. As to the manner in which Holy Com 
munion is to be given both during Mass or outside of it, 
mention will be made in a following chapter. 

Then the celebrant again joins the thumbs and the 
forefingers, places his left hand, which holds the paten, 
on the corporal, takes with his right hand the chalice 
below the knob, saying: Calicem salutaris accipiam y etc., 
and forming with the chalice a cross over himself, he 
says: Sangnis Domini nostri, etc., and inclining his head 
at the name Jesu Christi, he receives the precious blood. 
As the Rubric says: Manu sinistra supponens patenam 
Calici, it must be observed that the paten should be heid 
under the chalice only when the precious blood is taken, 
and then the paten is placed under his chin. 

Some say that the precious blood may be received in 
three draughts; others say that it is more becoming to 
take it in one draught; but Gavantus justly recommends 
that this should be done in two draughts; and this 
practice is praised by Merati. 1 If a particle of the Host 
happens to adhere to the chalice, it should not be drawn 

Miss, de defect, tit. 7, n. 2 et 3), vel post sumptionem Sanguinis ante 
purificationem. S. R. C. 3 Sept. 1672, in una Cochen. ad 3, n. 2602." 
(Ibid, page 99, note 19.) 

1 St. Alphonsus, in his Moral Theology, 1. 6, n. 408, says: " Hie 
obiter advertendum, decentius esse, ut Sanguis sumatur unico haustu, 
prout communiter docetur. . . . Melius dicunt Tonellius, Castaldus, 
et Crassus, semel Calicem ori admovendum, aliquando immorando, ul 
reliquiae omnes, quantum fieri potest, attrahantur, " 

CH. x.j From Pater Nosier to Communion. i 75 

up to the edge of the chalice with the finger, but should 
be consumed with the wine that is afterwards poured 
into the chalice. 1 Gavantus adduces the ordinance of 
St. Pius V., by which it is prescribed that the ablution 
should be received in the same manner in which the 
precious blood is received. 

5. The Priest takes the Ablutions, then covers the Chalice 
with the Veil and the Burse. 

"Quibus sumptis, dicit secreto, Quod ore sumpsinius, etc., et 
super altare porrigit calicem minjstro in cornu Epistolse, quo 
vinum fundente, se purificat ; deinde vino et aqua abluit pol- 
lices et indices super calicem, quos abstergit purificatorio; in 
terim dicens, Corpus tuuni Domine quod suuipsi, etc. , ablutionem 
sumit, et extergit os et calicem purificatorio; quo facto, puri- 
ficatorium extendit super calicem, et desuper patenam, ac super 
patenam parvam pallam, et plicato corporali, quod reponit in 
bursam, cooperit calicem velo, et bursam desuper ponit, et col- 
locat in medio altaris, ut in principio Missae." (Rub. Miss. tit. 
X. 5.) 

Having taken the precious blood, the priest gives 
holy Communion if there should be persons present 
that wish to communicate. (About the manner of giving 
Communion, see Chapter XII.) Then he says: Quod 
ore sumpsimus, etc.; and at the same time with his right 
hand he holds out the chalice towards the server on the 
Epistle side in Older to receive the wine for ablution, 
keeping meanwhile on the corporal his left hand hold 
ing the paten; and he has as much wine poured into the 
chalice as has been consecrated. Some, such as Cabri- 
nus and Tonellius, wish that the prayer Quod ore, etc., 
should be recited before, while presenting the chalice to 
receive the ablution; but this does not seem to be con 
formable to the little Rubric that is found in the Canon, 
which says: Postea dicit: Quod ore, etc., interim porrigit 

1 Authors agree that the second mode is preferable, although the first 
is indicated by the Rubric, DC Defect, tit x. n. 8. 

1 76 The Ceremonies of the Mass. 

Calicem ministro, qui infundit in eo parum vini. The word 
interim clearly indicates that this prayer, Quod ore should 
be said while the wine is being poured into the chalice. 

Then the celebrant slightly moves in a circle the wine 
that has been poured into the chalice in order to collect 
the rest of the precious blood, and he takes the ablution 
on the same side of the chalice at which he took the 
precious blood, as has been prescribed by St. Pius V.., 
and also in the same manner by holding the paten under 
his chin with his left hand. It must, besides, be re 
marked with Merati, that the abstemious cannot without 
the permission of the Pope use water in this first ablu 
tion, but they must use wine. 

After having purified the chalice, the priest puts the 
paten on the corporal towards the Epistle side; then 
taking the cup of the chalice between the last three 
fingers of both hands, and holding the forefingers and 
the thumbs over the mouth of the chalice he makes an 
inclination to the cross, 1 and goes to the Epistle side; 
there, holding the chalice raised over the altar, he 
washes his forefingers and thumbs, and also the other 
fingers that might have touched the Blessed Sacrament, 
first with wine, and then with water, in a larger quan 

He afterwards places the chalice outside of the cor 
poral towards the Epistle side, and wipes his fingers 
with the purificator, saying in the mean time: Corpus 
tuum Domine, quod sump si, etc. This prayer having been 
finished in the middle of the altar, he makes an inclina 
tion to the cross, 2 puts with his left hand the purificator 
under his chin, takes the chalice with his right hand, 
and drinks the ablution in one draught; then he wipes 
his mouth and the chalice with the purificator. If there 

1 The Rubric of the Missal does not here prescribe an inclination of 
the head. 

4 No inclination is prescribed by the Rubric. 

CH. x.] From Pater Nosier to Communion. 1 77 

remains in the chalice or on the paten some particle of 
the Host, he should consume it. 

Having afterwards placed the chalice outside of the 
corporal, towards the Gospel side, he spreads over it 
the purificator, on which he puts the paten with the 
pall and the veil. He then folds the corporal, takes the 
burse with the left hand; with the right hand he puts 
into it the corporal, so that the opening of the burse 
looks towards himself (the celebrant). Then he takes 
the chalice by the knob under the veil, and while placing 
his right hand on the burse, he places the chalice in the 
middle of the altar, arranging the veil in such a manner 
that it covers at least the whole front part of the chalice, 
according to a decree of the Sacred Congregation of 
Rites (March 5, 1698), mentioned by Merati. 

It should be observed that on Christmas, after having 
taken the precious blood at the first and the second Mass, 
the chalice should not be purified nor wiped with the 
purificator, and that the ablution of the fingers should 
be made in a special vessel. The prayers Quod ore and 
Corpus tuum are, however, to be said, after which the 
chalice is covered with the paten, on which another host 
is placed; over the chalice is spread the veil, but the 
purificator is left on the Epistle side. 

1 78 The Ceremonies of the Mass. 



i. The Priest recites the Communio, the Post-communio, and 
the Ite Missa est. 

"Celebrante purificato, dum calicem collocat in altari, liber 
Missalis defertur per ministrum ad cornu Epistolae, et collocatur 
ut in Introitu. Ipse autem minister genuflectit juxta cornu 
Evangelii, ut in principio Missae. Deinde celebrans, stans 
junctis manibus, legit Antiphonam quae dicitur Communio; qua 
lecta, junctis itidem manibus ante pectus vadit ad medium 
altaris, et, eo osculato, vertit se ad populum a manu sinistra ad 
dextram, et dicit Dominus vobiscum, et per eamdem viam red it 
ad librum, dicit Orationes post Communionem eisdem modo, 
numero, et ordine, ut supra dictae sunt Collectae. 

"Quibus finitis, claudit librum, et, jungens manus ante pectus, 
revertitur ad medium altaris, ubi, eo osculato, vertit se ad popu 
lum, et dicit ut supra Dominus vobiscum. Quo dicto, stans 
junctis manibus ante pectus versus populum, dicit, si dicendum 
est Ite Missa est, et per eamdem viam revertitur ad altare. Si 
vero non sit dicendum, dicto Dominus vobiscum, revertitur eodem 
modo per eamdem viam ad medium altaris; ubi stans versus ad 
illud, junctis ante pectus manibus dicit Benedicamus Domino. 

" In Quadragesima autem, a Feria quarta Cinerum usque ad 
Feriam quartam Majoris Hebdomadae, in feriali Officio, post- 
quam celebrans dixit orationes post Communionem cum suis 
solitis conclusionibus, antequam dicat Dominus vobiscum stans 
eodem loco ante librum dicit, Oremus. Humiliate capita vestra 
Deo, caput inclinans, et extensis manibus subjungit eadem voce 
Orationem super populum ibidem positam : qua finita, osculato 
altare ; et, vertens se ad populum dicit Dominus vobiscum et 
alia ut supra." (Rub. Miss. tit. XI. i, 2.) 

THE celebrant, after having finished the ablutions and 
arranged the chalice on the^altar, as has been explained 

CHAP, xi.] The Prayers after Communion. 1 79 

in Chapter X., holding his hands before his breast, goes 
to the Epistle side, where in a loud voice he reads the 
antiphon, which is called Communio; he returns imme 
diately after to the middle of the altar, kisses it, and turn 
ing towards the people says as usual, Dominus vobiscum. 
Then he returns to the book, and recites the prayer called 
Post communio and all the other prayers that are to be 
recited on that day; the first and the second prayer are 
preceded by the word Or emus y with an inclination to the 

It must be remarked that, according to Merati, during 
Lent, in the Ferial Masses the words Humiliate capita 
vestra Deo, which precede the prayer super populum, are 
pronounced without an inclination; an inclination is 
made only at the word Oremus, which is said in the 
usual manner. 

Having finished the prayers, he closes the Missal (if 
he has not a special Gospel to say) in such a way that 
the opening of the book be turned towards the chalice. 
He returns to the middle of the altar, kisses it, and turn 
ing to the people, he repeats, with his hands extended, 
Dominus vobiscum; then while turned towards the pepple, 
his hands being joined before his breast, without inclin 
ing his head, he says: Ite Missa est. During the octave 
of Easter he adds two alleluias. The Ite Missa est is said 
at all the Masses in which the Gloria in excelsis is said; 
but if the Gloria in excelsis was not said, the priest after 
the Dominus vobiscum turns round to the altar, and stand 
ing erect, says Benedicamus Domino, or Requiescat in pace, 
in Masses of the Dead. 

2. The Priest recites the Prayer Placeat tibi, and gives the 

" Dicto Ite Missa est, vel Benedicamus Domino, ut supra, 
celebrans, ante medium altaris, stans, junctis manibus super eo, 
et capite inclinato, dicit secrcto Placeat tibt sancta Trim fas.etc. 

i8o The Ceremonies of the Mass. 

" Quo dicto, extensis manibus hinc inde super altare positis, 
ipsum in medio osculatur; turn erigens se, adhuc stans versus 
illud, elevat ad coelum oculos et manus, quas extendit et jungit, 
caputque Cruci inclinans, dicit voce intelligibili B-enedicat vos 
o))inipotens Dens, et junctis manibus, ac demissis ad terram 
oculis, vertens se ad populum a sinistro latere ad dextrum, ex- 
tensa manu dextra, junctisque digitis, et manu sinistra infra 
pectus posita, semel benedicit populo, dicens Pater et Filius ^ 
et Spiritus sanctus. R. Amen (Rub. Miss. tit. XII. i.) 

Then holding his hands joined on the altar and in 
clining his head (capite inclinato, says the Rubric), he 
says in a low voice: Placeat tibi, sane fa Trinitas, etc.; he 
lays his hands extended on the altar, kisses it in the 
middle, and having raised himself up, lifts his eyes to 
the cross; elevating his hands at the same time, joining 
them, and inclining his head, he says in a loud voice: 
Benedicat vos omnipotcns Deus; then holding his hands 
joined and his eyes cast down (demissis ad terram oculis, 
says the Rubric), he turns round to the people by the 
Epistle side, and with his left hand below his breast he 
blesses the people with his right hand extended and his 
fingers united, saying: Pater, et Filius ^et Spiritus Sane- 
tits. .. While saying Pater, he begins to make the cross 
with his hand extended and raised to the height of the 
forehead; when he says Filius, he lowers it as far as the 
breast; and when he says Spiritus Sanctus, he forms a trans 
verse line that does not exceed the width of the shoulders. 

3. The Priest reads the last Gospel. 

"Circulum perficiens, accedit ad cornu Evangelii, ubi dicto 
Dominus vobiscum. R. Et cum spirit u tuo, poll ice dextro sig- 
nans primum signo crucis altare seu librum in principio Evan 
gelii, deinde frontem, os, et pectus, dicit Initium sancti Evan 
gelii sccundum Joanncui, vel Sequentia sancti Evangelii ut 
dictum est in Rubricis generalibus, et R. Gloria tibi Domine, 
junctis manibus legit Evangelinm In principio, vel aliud ut 
convenit. Cum dicit Et Verbum caro fact um est genuflectit 

CHAP, xi.] The Prayers after Communion. \ 8 1 

versus cornu Evangel! i, et surgens prosequitur ut prius : quo 
finito, minister stans a parte Epistolae respondet Deo gratias" 
(Rub. Miss. tit. XII. i.) 

The blessing having been given, the celebrant com 
pletes the circle and goes to the Gospel side; there, with 
his hands joined and his face turned towards the altar, 
he says: Dominus vobiscum. Then he makes with his 
right thumb the sign of the cross, at first on the altar 
(or on the book at the beginning of the Gospel), then on 
himself on his forehead, mouth, and breast, and says the 
Gospel of St. John: Initium sancti Evangclii (or another 
Gospel that is prescribed). When he pronounces the 
words Vcrbum caro factum cst, he genuflects; holding his 
hands separated on the altar, and rising immediately, he 
recites the rest of the Gospel. 

The Gospel being over, he does not kiss the altar card 
nor the Missal, 1 but returns to the middle of the altar. 

4. The Priest leaves the Altar and returns to the Sacristy. 

"Quibus omnibus absolutis, exstinguntur per ministrum can- 
del oe : interim Sacerdos accipit sinistra calicem, dextram po- 
nens super bursam, ne aliquid cadat, descendit ante infimum 
gradum altaris ; et ibr in meclio vertens se ad illud, caput incli- 
nat, vel, si in eo est tabernaculum Sanctissimi Sacramenti genu- 
flectit, et facta reverentia, accipit birretum a ministro, caput 
cooperit, ac prsecedente eodem ministro, eo modo quo venerat, 
redit ad sacristiam, interim dicens antiphonam Trium piterorum, 
cum cantico Benedicite et aliis orationibus, ut suo loco po- 

"Si vero sit dimissurus paramenta apud altare ubi celebravit, 
finito Evangelio praedicto, ibidem illis se exuit, et dicit antipho 
nam Trtum Puerorum, cum cantico et aliis orationibus, ut suo 
loco ponuntur." 

" Si aliud EvangeHum," scribit Martinucci, lib. i, cap. 141, " e Mis- 
sali legerit, non osculabitur textum, postquam legere desierit, sed lib- 
rum claudct, efficiens ut libri aportura versa sit ad medium altare." 

1 82 The Ceremonies of the Mass. 

Having arrived at the middle of the altar, the priest 
makes an inclination to the cross, 1 turns the front part 
of the veil upon the burse. He takes with his left hand 
the chalice at the knob, holding his right hand on the 
burse; he turns towards the Epistle side and descends 
to the lowest step of the altar, and there, if the Blessed 
Sacrament is present, he genuflects on one knee on the 
step, 2 or if the Blessed Sacrament is not there, he in 
clines his head to the cross (caput inclinet, says the 
Rubric). Merati with others wishes that a profound in 
clination should be made. He then covers his head with 
the biretta and returns to the sacristy, saying in the 
meanwhile the antiphon: Trhtm puerorum, etc., with the 
canticle Benedicite omnia opera, etc. If he meets another 
priest, they should salute each other with the head un 

Having come to the sacristy, he makes a profound in 
clination to the principal image; then he takes off the 
vestments, one after the other, in the inverse order to 
that in which he put them on; namely, he first takes off 
the chasuble, then the stole, maniple, cincture, alb, and 
finally the amice, kissing the cross of the stole, maniple, 
and amice. In removing the alb, he draws off the left 
sleeve first, then passes the alb over his head. If the 
vestments are to be put on the altar, they should be 
placed at the Gospel side. Then the priest should retire 
to give thanks to the Divine Guest, who has deigned to 
enter his soul with so much love. 

1 Martinucci, 1. c. n. 142, says: " Sine ulla ad Crucem reverentia se 
convertet, descendet de altaris gradibus. ..." This is in accordance 
with the foregoing Rubric of the Missal. See also note 2, page 99. 

2 If the Blessed Sacrament is in the tabernacle, St. Alphonsus requires 
the genuflection to be made super grachi; but according to a decision of 
S. R. C. die 12 Nov., 1831: "in accessu ad altare, et in recessu in 
piano genuflectendum est." 

CHAP, xii.] Manner of Giving Communion. 183 


"Si qui sunt communicandi in Missa, Sacerdos, post sump- 
tionem Sanguinis, antequam se purificet, facta genuflexione, 
ponat Particulas consecratas in pyxide, vel, si pauci sint com 
municandi, super patenam, nisi a principio positae fuerint in 
pyxide, seu alio calice. Interim minister ante eos extendit lin- 
teum, seu velum album, et pro eis facit confessionem, dicens 
Confiteor Deo, etc. Turn Sacerdos iterum genuflectit, et manibus 
junctis, vertens se ad populum in cornu Evangelii, dicit, Mise- 
reatur vestri, et Indulgentiam, absolntionem et remissionem pec- 
catorum iiestrorum, etc., et manu dextra facit signum crucis 
super eos. Postea genuflectens, accipit manu sinistra pyxidem 
seu patenam cum Sacramento, dextra vero sumit unam Particu- 
lam, quam inter pollicem et indicem tenet aliquantulum elevatam 
super pyxidem seu patenam, et conversus ad communicandos in 
medio altaris dicit Ecce Agnus Dei, ecce qui tollit peccata mundi 
Deinde dicit: Domine non sum dignus, ut intres sub tectum 
meum, sed tantum die verbo, et sanabititr an I M a mca. Qui bus 
verbis tertio repetitis, accedit ad eorum dextram, hoc est, ad 
latus Epistolae, et unicuique. porrigit Sacramentum, faciens cum 
eo signum crucis super pyxidem vel patenam, et simul dicens 
Corpus Domini nostri Jesu Christi custodiat animam tuam in 
vitam ceternam, Amen. Omnibus communicatis revertitur ad 
altare, nihil dicens: et non dat eis benedictionem, quia illam 
daturus est in fine Missae. 

"Si particular positae erant super corporale, extergit illud cum 
patena, et si quae in eo fuerint fragmenta, in calicem immittit. 
Deinde dicit secreto, Quod ore sumpsimus Doming, etc., et se puri- 
ficat, dicens Corpus tuum Domine quod sumpsi, et alia facit ut 

" Si in altari remaneant particulae in calice, seu in alio vase 
usque ad finem Missae, serventur ea, quae in Feria quinta Ccenas 
Domini praescribuntur circa finem Missae." (Rub. Miss tit 
X. 6, 7.) 

1 84 The Ceremonies of the Mass. 

I. The Manner of giving Communion with the Hosts consecrated 
at Mass. 

WHEN particles are placed on the altar for persons 
that desire to communicate, the priest, having taken the 
precious blood, and before taking the ablution, covers 
the chalice with the pall, puts the particles on the paten, 
makes a genuflection, and turning a little towards the 
people, with his shoulders towards the Gospel side, says 
the prayer Misereatur vestri, etc., even though there be 
only one person to receive Communion. Then he places 
his left hand below his breast, but with the right hand 
makes the sign of the cross over the communicants, say 
ing: Indulgentiam.) absolutionem, etc. Then he turns to 
wards the altar, 1 takes the paten, 2 and with the forefinger 
and thumb of his right hand one of the particles, and 
turning entirely towards the people, although the Blessed 
Sacrament be exposed, 3 he raises the Host a little, with- 

1 Here another genuflection is to be made before the priest takes the 
paten with the Host, according to the Rubric quoted above. 

2 Some authors say that the priest in distributing Communion may 
use a purificator different from the purificator that he uses at Mass, and 
that he may take it between the forefinger and middle finger of his left 
hand, so that it hangs on both sides of the last three fingers. But the 
Rubrics of the Missal, the Roman Ritual, the Ceremonial of the Bishops, 
say nothing about such a practice. 

The priest is not allowed while administering holy Communion, 
either during or at end of Mass, to hold the paten between the fingers 
of his left hand, which carries the ciborium, for the purpose of placing it 
under the chin of those communicating (S. R. C. 12 Aug., 1854). 

3 " Praxis tamen Urbis habet, ut de altari, ubi expositum est Ss. Sac- 
cramentum, non detur Communio. Si Ss. Sacrarnentum exponatur eo 
tempore, quo fideles ad Communionem accedere solent, sacra "pyxis in 
alio altari deponetur juxta praxim in Urbe. Et ita faciendum esse, 
scripsit Ven. Innocentius XL, die 20 Maji, 1682, ad Archiepiscopum 
Mechlinen. Si autem in ecclesia unicum altare reperiatur, permitti 
potest distributio sacrae Communionis intra vel extra Missam coram 
Sanctissimo super altari exposito. S. R. C. die 26 Sept., 1868, in una 
Rhemen. n. 5411." (Schober, page 109, n. 4.) 

CHAP, xii.] Manner of Giving Communion. 185 

out, however, touching the paten with the other fingers, 
and he says: Ecce Agnus Dei, etc., and three times Do- 
mine non sum dignus. While distributing Communion he 
makes with the particle over the paten or ciborium the 
sign of the cross towards every one that communicates 
(the communicant kneeling on the step nearest to the 
altar rails), and says: Corpus Domini nostri Jesu Christi 
etc. Then, having returned to the altar, he purifies the 
corporal, and puts the fragments into the chalice, as has 
been said above. 

2. Manner of giving Communion with the Hosts kept in the 

If the particles have already been consecrated and are 
kept in the tabernacle, the celebrant, having taken the 
precious blood, places the chalice towards the Gospel 
side, and holding his thumbs and forefingers joined, he 
opens the tabernacle, genuflects, takes out the ciborium, 
and having placed it in the middle of the altar uncovers 
it, again genuflects, and with his hands joined before his 
breast waits till the server finishes the Confiteor. Then 
he turns around in order to say the prayers Miscrcatur 
and Indulgentiam, and gives Communion in the manner 
above mentioned. 

Having returned to the altar, he puts down the cibo 
rium, covers it, makes a genuflection, 1 again takes it, and 
puts it back into the tabernacle: he does not, however, 
kiss it, as some do; and before closing the tabernacle he 
again genuflects, and then closes it. Merati, adding an- 

1 St. Alphonsus wishes that here, the priest having returned to the 
altar, should genuflect after covering the ciborium; but the S. R. C., De 
cember 23, 1862 (in una Romana, n. 5324), has decreed: " a sacerdote 
redeunte ad altare post fidelium Communionem genuflectendum, ante- 
quam coopcriat sacrum pyxidem, et iterum genuflectendum, antequam, 
pyxide in tabernaculo posita, ipsius tabernaculi ostiolum claudat." The 
holy Doctor is, however, right when, in opposition to Merati, he says 
that not three but only two genuflections are to be made. 

1 86 5 r he Ceremonies of the Mass. 

other genuflection, requires that in all we should make 
three genuflections: for he wishes that before covering 
the ciborium the first genuflection should be made; the 
second, before putting back the ciborium after opening 
the tabernacle; lastly, the third, before the tabernacle is 
closed. He cites for his opinion the Ceremonial of the 
private Mass; but the Ceremonial says nothing of the 
first genuflection required by Merati; for it merely says: 
Si remanserint parttculce, clausa pyxide et facta genuflexione 
reponit earn in custodiam, et antequam claudat illam, denuo 
genuflectat. It therefore prescribes the second and the 
third genuflection, but not the first before the priest 
covers the ciborium. Communion having been distrib 
uted, the priest does not give the blessing, because it is 
given at the end of Mass. He then consumes the drops 
of precious blood that still remain in the chalice; and 
afterwards purifies the chalice. 

3. Remarks in regard to the Hosts that are not Consumed. 

Here a few remarks should be made: 

As to Hosts consecrated and not distributed: If 
there is in the tabernacle a ciborium, the priest puts 
them into the ciborium; but if there is no ciborium, the 
priest consumes them before purifying the chalice; and 
if there are still found in the chalice some drops of the 
precious blood, it is proper for him to consume them 
before purifying the chalice. In case the consecrated 
Hosts remain on the altar till the end of Mass, the 
priest should observe what is prescribed when the 
Blessed Sacrament is exposed on the altar. 

4. Communion is given during and even after Mass. 

As much as possible, Communion is to be given to the 
people during the Mass after the Communion of the 
priest; this is the intention of the Church, for it is said 

CHAP, xii.] Manner of Giving Communion. 187 

in the Roman Ritual: Communio autern populi infra Mis- 
sam statim post communionem Sacerdotis fieri debet, nisi qnan- 
doque ex rationabili causa post Missam sit facienda. And 
the following reason is given: Cum orationes, qua post 
communionem dicuntur, etiam ad alios communicandos spectent. 
. . . The same holds good for giving Communion before 
Mass. A reasonable cause would be either illness or 
necessary occupation in the case of those that wish to 
communicate. Gavantus adds that Communion may 
be given at the end of Mass if many are to communi 
cate, in order that those not communicating may not 
grow weary. However, Benedict XIV., in his work on 
the Sacrifice of the Mass (lib. 3, c. 18, n. 9), says that 
those manifestly err who without a reason give Com 
munion after Mass. The same is said by Le Brun and 
Magri (iwcab. eccl. verb. Communio}, and the same was 
prescribed by St. Charles Borromeo for his diocese. 

5. Manner of Purifying the Ciborium. 

If the ciborium is to be purified (this should be done 
every fifteen days), the celebrant takes it from the 
tabernacle after having consumed the precious blood, 
and places on the paten all the Hosts that it contains 
[or he takes them out of the ciborium]; then he pours 
wine into the chalice for the first ablution, and with the 
forefinger lets the fragments that remain fall into the 
ciborium; and if necessary he also purifies the ciborium 
with a little wine, which he afterwards pours into the 
chalice. Having then wiped the ciborium with the 
purificator he puts into it the new particles, and con 
sumes the old particles. 

6. Communion in Requiem Masses. 

According to a decree of the Sacred Congregation 
of Rites, of 1741, Communion may be given, but it is 
As to the renewal of the Hosts, see Schober. page na, note 10. 

1 88 The Ceremonies of the Mass. 

prohibited to give it with particles consecrated before 
Mass. This ordinance does not lose its binding force 
because Merati and Benedict XIV. (de Sacrif. Miss. lib. 
3, c. 18, n. 10) assert that such a decree has never been 
published, for they speak of another decree of the year 
1701. The decree of which mention is here made is of 
the year 1741, and has also been published. This decree, 
however, is to be understood as referring to the Mass 
that is said with black vestments, but not when it is 
said with violet vestments; for in the latter case Com 
munion may be given according to a decree of June 21, 
1670, quoted by Merati (tnindice decrctorum, n. 444)- 1 

1 But the following decree of July 23, 1868, takes away in regard to 
Communion nearly every distinction between Masses of the Dead and 
other Masses, and forbids the use of the violet color except in one case: 
"Posse in Missis Defunctorum cum paramentis nigris sacram Com- 
munionem fidelibus ministrari, etiam ex particulis praeconsecratis, extra- 
hendo pyxidem a tabernaculo. Posse item in paramentis nigris minis 
trari Communionem immediate post Missam Defunctorum; data autem 
rationabili causa, immediate quoque ante eamdem Missam; in utroque 
tamen casu omittendam esse benedictionem. Missas vero Defunctorum 
celebrandas esse omnino in paramentis nigris, adeo ut violacea adhiberi 
nequeant, nisi in casu, quo die 2 Novembris, sanctissimae Eucharisdae 
Sacramentum publics fidelium adorationi sit expositum pro solemn! 
Oratione Quadrag. Horarum, prout cautum est in decreto Sacrae hujus 
Congregationis die 16 Septembris, anni 1801." 

CH.XIII.] Communion Given Outside of Mass. 189 



Manner of giving Communion. 

WHEN Communion is to be given outside of Mass, the 
priest, wearing a surplice and a white stole, 1 goes to the 
altar. When he arrives there he takes off the biretta, 
genuflects on the first step, 2 ascends the altar, takes the 
burse, takes out of it the corporal, and puts the burse in 
its place; 3 then, having unfolded the corporal, he opens 
the tabernacle, genuflects, takes out the ciborium, opens 
it, and makes again a genuflection. Then, the Confiteor 
having been said by the server, the priest again genu 
flects, 4 and with his hands joined he turns to the people 
and says: Misereatur, etc., as above, and distributes Com 
munion. This is to be observed when the celebrant gives 
Communion before or after Mass. 

After Communion has been given, the priest, having 
returned to the altar, says in a low voice the antiphon 

1 It is now decided that the stole : Juxta Ritualis Rubricam debet 
esse coloris Officio convenientis." (S. R. C. in una Trident., 12 Mart. 

I)i piano, (Decree of November 12, 1831.) 

3 The burse is sometimes found on the altar; sometimes the server 
carries it; however: " Dccere ut a sacerdote deferatur." (S. R. C. Sep 
tember 24, 1842.) 

4 St. Alphonsus prescribes that three genuflections are to be made, 
but by the Rubrics two genuflections are determined before the priest 
administers Communion: namely, the first, before taking the ciborium 
out of the tabernacle; the other, after the ciborium has been uncovered 
on the altar. (Deer. S. R. C. December 1862, n. 5324.) 

The Ceremonies of the Mass. 

(this is, however, only a counsel): O sacrum convivium, in 
quo Christus sumitur, recolitur memoria passionis cjus, mcns 
implctur gratia, et futures gloria nobis pignus datur. In 
Paschal time and within the octave of Corpus Christ! 
an alleluja is added. 1 Then are recited the versicles: V. 
Pattern de calo prtzstitisti eis. 7?. Omne delectamentum in se 
habentem, with the prayer: Deus qui nobis sub Sacramento? 
etc., without saying previously Dominus vobiscum, accord 
ing to a decree of S. R. C., June 16, 1660. 3 

If any fragment should adhere to his fingers the priest 
shall let it fall into the ciborium. Then having covered 
the ciborium, he purifies his fingers in a vessel of water, 
and wipes them with the purificator; he genuflects, re 
places the ciborium in the tabernacle, and closes it after 
having made another genuflection. 4 

Finally, he raises his eyes to jthe cross, and extending 
his hands and again joining them, and making at the 
same time a simple minimarum maxima inclination, he 
says in a loud voice: Benedictio Dei omnipotentis; then 
with his hands joined he turns to those that have com 
municated, and holding his left hand below his breast, 
he gives the blessing with his right hand, saying: Patris, 
et Filii, et Spiritus Sancti, descendat super vos et maneat sem 
per. And the server answers: Amen. 

1 "Tempore paschali," says the Rubric of the Roman Ritual, " dici- 
tur Oratio: Spiritum nobis Domine," etc. (Ex Post-communione Sab- 
bati Sancti.) 

2 By the Roman Ritual there is prescribed in this prayer the entire 
conclusion : Qui vims et regnas cum Deo Patri in imitate, etc. 

3 The versicles Domine exattdi and Dominus vobisctim should follow- 
the versicle Panem de ccelo and precede the prayer, as has been decided 
by the S. C. September 24, 1842. 

4 According to a decision, S. R. C. December 23, 1862, the priest 
puts the ciborium on the corporal in the middle of the altar, genuflects; 
if fragments adhere- to his fingers, he rubs them over the ciborium, 
covers it, purifies his fingers, recites the antiphon, the versicles, and the 
prayer, then puts the ciborium into the tabernacle, makes a second 
genuflection, and shuts the tabernacle 

CH. xiii.] Communion Given Outside of Mass. 191 

This blessing is given both before and after Mass; 
however, it is to be given with the hand, not with the 
ciborium, as some do, especially when they give Com 
munion to nuns; such is the decision given by Benedict 
XIV., in a certain bull. If, therefore, Communion has 
been given to nuns, the ciborium having been covered, 
.t is put into its place, and the blessing is given to the 
nuns with the hand. 1 

1 Communion may be distributed " tempore quo in ecclesia Missae 
celebrantur, vel ad formam Rubricae vel ad formam indulti eidem ec- 
clesiae concessi " (S. R. C., September 7, 1816, Tuden. n. 4526, 37); 
etiam ante auroram vel post meridiem, imo " sub vesperis, i.e. in ex- 
trema diei parte, si accedat aliqua specialis causa" (S. Alph. VI. (v.), 
252). Excipitur Missa in .media nocte Nativitatis Domini. Feria V. 
in Coena Domini et Sabbato Sancto inter Missarum solemnia fideles 
sacram Communionem recipere possunt. 

192 The Ceremonies of the Mass. 



"In Missa pro Defunctis, ante confessionem, non dicitur 
Psalmus Judica me Deus, sed, pronuntiata antiphona Introibo ad 
Altare Dei, et response a ministro, Ad Deum qui latificat, etc. 
dicitur V. Adjutorium nostrum, et Confessio, cum reliquis ut 
supra. Cum celebrans ad altare incipit Introitum, non signat 
se, sed manu dextra extensa, facit signum crucis super librum, 
quasi aliquem benedicens. Non dicitur Gloria Patri, sed post 
Psalmum repetitur Requiem ceternam; nee dicitur Gloria in ex- 
celsis, nee Alleluja, nee Jube Domine benedicere, nee Dominus sit 
in corde meo; nee osculatur librum in fine. Non dicitur Credo, 
non benedicitur aqua in Calicem fundenda; dicitur tamen 
Oratio, Deus, qui humance substantice, etc. Cum lavat manus, 
in fine psalmi Lavabo inter innocentes, non dicitur Gloria Patri. 
Ad Agnus Dei, non dicitur miserere nobis, cujus loco dicitur 
dona eis requiem; nee tertio dona nobis pacem, cujus loco dicitur 
dona eis requiem sempiternam; nee percutitur pectus. Non dici 
tur prima Oratio ante Communionem, scilicet : Domine Jesu 
Christ e, qui dixisti Apostolis tuts, etc., nee datur pax. In fine 
non dicitur Ite Missa est, nee Benedicamus Domino, sed Requies- 
cant in pace. Et non datur benedictio ; sed dicto Placeat, et 
osculato altari, dicitur, ut supra: In principio erat Verbum; et 
alia omnia ut in aliis Missis." (Ritb. Miss. tit. XIII. i.) 

At the Foot of the Altar. 

IN the beginning of Masses for the Dead the psalm 
Judica me Deus is omitted. Hence after the antiphon 
Introibo ad altare Dei, and after the server has answered 
Ad Deum qui latificat, etc., the priest says: Adjutorium 
nostrum, and then he says the Confiteor, and what follqws. 

CHAP, xiv.] Omissions in Mass for the Dead. 193 

From the Introit to the Lavabo. 

When beginning the Introit, he does not make the 
sign of the cross on himself, but having placed his left 
hand on the book, 1 with his right hand extended he 
makes a sign of the cross in the air towards the book. 

He does not say the Gloria, nor Jube Domine benedicere, 
nor Dominus sit in corde meo, nor is the book kissed at the 
end of the Gospel. 2 

The Credo is not said, nor is the water that is poured 
into the chalice blessed, but the prayer Deus qui humance 
substantice, etc., is said; nor is Gloria Patri said after the 
psalm Lavabo. 

From the Agnus Dei till the end of Mass. 

At the Agnus Dei* the priest says, not miserere nobis, 
nor dona nobis pacem, but twice dona eis requiem, and 
once dona eis requiem sempiternam; and the breast is not 

He omits the first of the three prayers that precede the 

At the end of Mass, instead of the Ite Missa est or 
Benedicamus Domino, Requicscant in pace must be said. 4 

1 According to a decision of S. R. C. September 7, 1816, the left hand 
should be placed on the altar. (Schober, page 128, note 2.) 

2 Per Evangelica dicta, etc., is not said (S. R. C. die n Sept., 1847). 

3 Agnus Dei is recited with the hands joined, not placed on the altar. 
(Martinncci, 1. I, c. 19, n. n.) 

4 In regard to \he prayers, (i) On the day of the Commemoration of 
All Souls, on the day ot deposition (that is, of the death or burial), and 
on that of the anniversary; also on the third, seventh, and thirtieth 
days, only one prayer is said, says the Rubric of the Missal (p. i, tit. 
5, n. 3). This holds good not only for the Missa cantata, but for private 
Masses. On the other days in the Mass for the Dead at least three 
prayers are said, and more may be added, if the number be kept uneven, 
but not more than seven. The first prayer must always be Deiis qui 

1 94 The Ceremonies of the Mass. 

Then there is no blessing given, but after having said 
Placeat and kissed the altar, the priest goes to the 
Gospel side and says: Dominus vobiscum, and the Gospel 
of St. John In principle, and the rest as in other Masses. 

inter apostolicos saccrdotes, the prayer Fidelium is to be -said last. (2) 
The Sequence, Dies irce is said on All Souls Day, and "die deposi- 
tionis defuncti," and quandocumque in Missa dicitur una tantum 
Oratio;" in other Masses for the Dead " dicatur ad arbitrium sacerdotis." 
(Rub. Missal, p. I. tit. 5, n. 4.) 

CHAP, xv.] Mass before the Blessed Sacrament. 195 



ON entering the chapel where the Blessed Sacrament 
is exposed the celebrant gives his biretta to the server, 
and when he arrives at the middle of the altar he genu 
flects on both knees /// piano, making also a profound 
inclination of the head. 

Having ascended the altar and placed the chalice on 
the Gospel side, he genuflects on one knee, but does not 
incline the head. He then takes the corporal out of the 
burse and unfolds it, and having placed the chalice in 
the middle, he again genuflects and goes to the Epistle 
side to find the Mass. 

Then he returns to the middle of the altar, and having 
made a genuflection (which is always to be made when 
he goes to the middle or when he leaves it) withdraw 
ing a little towards the Gospel side with his face towards 
the Epistle side, he descends to the foot of the altar in 
piano, there he genuflects on one knee on the first step 
of the altar; then he rises and begins Mass. 

After having again ascended the altar he genuflects, 
and then says the prayer Oramus te Domine, etc.; after 
having finished it, he kisses the altar, again genuflects 
and goes to read the Introit. He then returns to the 
middle of the altar, where, having made a genuflection, 
he says the Kyrie and the Gloria. Then having kissed 
the altar he genuflects, and turns towards the people, 
withdrawing a little towards the Gospel side, in order 

196 7Yz Ceremonies of the Mass. 

not to turn his back to the Blessed Sacrament, and says 
Dominus vobiscum. Thus he should always act as often 
as he has to turn towards the people, that is, he genu 
flects before and after. And then he continues to say 
Mass in the usual manner. 

When he goes to wash his hands, he descends to the 
foot of the altar in piano by the steps at the Epistle side, 
and turning to his left, lest his back be towards the 
Blessed Sacrament, while facing the people he washes 
and dries his hands, and returns by the same way to the 

Before saying the Orate Fratres he kisses the altar, 
genuflects, and turning a little towards the people, with 
his shoulders towards the Gospel side, he says Orate 

Then without completing the circle, so that he may 
not turn his back to the Blessed Sacrament, he turns 
;owards the altar, again genuflects, and continues the 
rest till the Communion. At the Sanctus and at the 
Elevation the bell is not rung. 

After the Communion, and after the first ablution has 
been taken, he places the chalice outside of the corporal 
towards the Epistle side, and having made a genuflec 
tion he goes to the Epistle corner to purify his fingers. 

Having recited the Placeat, he says Benedicat vos om- 
nipotens Deus; and having made a genuflection he turns a 
little towards the people, with his shoulders towards the 
Gospel side, and then gives the blessing; then he turns 
towards the altar on his right side, but does not complete 
the circle lest he should turn his back to the Blessed 
Sacrament; and without making another genuflection, 
he goes to the Gospel side to read the Gospel. It must 
be remarked that if the altar card is wanting, he signs 
with the sign of the cross, not the altar, but himself. 

Having finished the Gospel, he returns to the middle 

CHAP, xv.] Mass before the Blessed Sacrament. 197 

of the altar, genuflects, takes the chalice, descends to 
the foot of the altar in piano, where, before leaving the 
altar, he genuflects on both knees, and inclines the head 
profoundly, as he did at the beginning of Mass; then he 
covers his head with the biretta and returns to the 

1 98 The Ceremonies of the Mass. 



THE ceremonies that are here indicated should be 
observed before a bishop in his own diocese, and before 
an archbishop in his own province, and also before a 
consecrated abbot in his monastery, and before a bishop 
in private oratories, although outside of his diocese. 
Gavantus adds that the same thing should be observed 
if a prelate is in the church of exempt Regulars, pro 
vided he has a kind of jurisdiction over them. 

After the celebrant, with his head covered, has arrived 
at the middle of the altar, before the lowest step, he un 
covers his head, makes an inclination towards the cross 
or a genuflection if the Blessed Sacrament is kept there. 
Then he salutes the prelate with a profound inclination 
and goes to the Epistle side, standing in piano before the 
lowest step; after having received the sign, he again in 
clines towards the prelate, and turning a little towards 
the altar (the server kneeling on the Epistle side) he 
begins Mass. This holds good when the bishop hears 
Mass in front of the altar, but not when he is present at 
the side; in this case the priest may begin Mass in the 
middle, because then he does not turn his back to him 
and can conveniently make the usual inclinations that 
must be made to him. 

At the Confiteor he does not say vobis /retires and vos 
fratres, but says only tibi pater and te pater. Having, 
said Or emus before he ascends the altar, he makes again, 
for the third time, a profound bow to the prelate, and 
when he reaches the middle of the altar before the 

CHAP, xvi.] Mass Celebrated Before a Bishop. 1 99 

lowest step, he begins Aufer a nobis, and ascends the 

The Gospel having been read, the priest does not kiss 
the Missal, nor does he say Per Evangelica dicta, because 
the server without making an inclination to the prelate 
must carry the Missal to him to be kissed; the prelate, 
however, having kissed the book, says Per Evangelica 
dicta. The server now closes the book, genuflects before 
the prelate, and carries back the Missal to the celebrant, 
who abstains from kissing it. If several prelates are 
present, the Missal is carried to the one superior in dig 
nity, but if they are of equal dignity, it is carried to 
none of them. It is the practice of some that when 
before the offering water is poured into the wine, the 
server says: Benedic Illustrissime et Reverendissime Pater; 
and the bishop blesses the water; but as this is pre 
scribed nowhere in the Rubric it should be omitted. 

At the end of Mass the celebrant, having said Benedicat 
vos omnipotent Deus, makes a profound inclination to the 
prelate, and blesses those that are present, taking care to 
make the sign of the cross towards that place where the 
prelate is not. If the prelate is outside the place of his 
jurisdiction, the celebrant gives the blessing in the usual 
manner, when, namely, he celebrates in a public church; 
but in private oratories, as has been said above, the same 
ceremonies are observed towards him as if he were in his 
own diocese. After the last Gospel the celebrant, stand 
ing in the place where he is, turns towards the prelate 
and makes towards him a profound inclination, nor does 
he depart before the prelate has departed. 

If Mass is celebrated before a prelate in a public 
church that does not belong to his jurisdiction, it is 
becoming that the priest, on going to the altar or leav 
ing it, while passing before the prelate, should with head 
covered, if he carries the chalice, make towards him a 
moderate inclination; but if he does not carry the chalice, 

2OO The Ceremonies of the Mass. 

he uncovers his head and makes to him a profound incli 
nation. And after the Mass is finished he makes to him 
from the altar a profound inclination. All that has been 
said in this chapter on this point is taken from Gavan- 
tus and Merati (on Rubric XL). 

It must, moreover, be observed that the priest cele 
brating before his own prelate on those days on which 
it is allowed to say a prayer ad libitum, cannot say the 
prayer pro se, ipso. 

CH. xvii.] Faults Common in Celebrating Mass. 201 




THE first fault is not to know well by heart the prayers 
which, in accordance with the precept of the Rubric, 
should be. known, as the prayers that one should say 
in washing the hands and in putting on the sacred vest 
ments. It is, moreover, a fault if one does not pronounce 
well the other prayers that are to be said by heart during 
the Mass; as Aufer a nobis, etc., Oramus te Domine, etc. 


It is a very great fault to go to say Mass with little or 
no preparation; it would be worse to talk while putting 
on the vestments. St. John Chrysostom exclaims: Ad 
divina Christi mysteria negligenter accedens supplicium intoler- 
abile meretur. 1 Moreover, St. Bonaventure says: Cave, ne 
nimis tepidus et inordinatus atque inconsideratus accedas, quia 
indigne siunis, si non accedis reverenter. 


It is a fault, worthy of reprehension, or rather it is a 
horrible sacrilege, to celebrate Mass too fast, for then it 
happens that the words are mutilated, the ceremonies 
are transposed so that they are performed either before 
or after the time prescribed; this would show little de 
votion, and scandalize those that are present. Of those 

1 DC Sacerd. 1. 4, c. 3, 3. 

2O2 The Ceremonies of the Mass. 

that act in this way one may say: Non timent Dominum, 
neque custodiunt cceremonias ejus. 1 


It is also a great fault to omit the thanksgiving that 
should be made after Mass; and in this not a few imitate^ 
Judas, who, cum accepisset buccellam y exivit continue? 


It is a great sin to celebrate with torn vestments, with 
a dirty purificator and corporal. This is the general 
opinion of theologians. 


It is a fault to place on the chalice the handkerchief 
or any other thing (see Chap. II.); it is a great fault to 
place on the altar what does not belong to the Mass. 
The handkerchief may be fastened to the cincture at the 
right side under the chasuble, in such a way that it is 
hidden from view. 


It is a fault: i. To sign one s self with the amice; 2. 
While leaving the sacristy to recite the psalm Miserere, 
although any prayer may be recited mentally; some, 
however, deny that it is a fault. 3 3. To make a rever 
ence to the image in the sacristy while holding the 
biretta with the right hand and the chalice with the 
left; 4. To make an inclination, simple, moderate, or 
profound, after having made a genuflection on one 
knee; 5. To make no difference between the profound, 
moderate, and simple inclination. 

rofound inclination should be made by the priest: 

1 4 Kings, xvii. 34. * John, xiii. 30. 

3 See Chaptei" II., page 93, at 2. 

CH. xvii.] Faults Common in Celebrating Mass. 203 

(i) before leaving the sacristy; (2) while passing before 
the high altar if the Blessed Sacrament is not there; (3) 
when he arrives at the altar; (4) before he begins Mass 
if the Blessed Sacrament is not there; (5) when he says 
Mumla cor meum, Te igitur, Snpplices te rogamus. 

The moderate inclination should be made in descending 
from the altar either to say Mass, or after Mass. 1 More 
over: i. At Deus qui conversus, etc.; 2. At Oramiis te Do- 
mine; 3. At In spirit it humilitatis; 4. At the Sanctus; 5. 
At the Consecration; 6. At the Agnus Dei; 7. At the 
three prayers before Communion; 8. At the Domine non 
sum dignus; 9. At the Placeat tibi sancta Trinitas. 

As for the simple inclination we must distinguish three 
kinds, as has been explained in Chapter II., page 92. 

It should be made: i. When Gloria Patri is said; 2. 
Every time Orewus is said; 3. At the name Jesus and 
Maria or of the saints whose Mass is celebrated or of 
whom a special commemoration is made; 4. When the 
name of the reigning Pope is mentioned; 5. In the 
hymn Gloria, at the words Deo, Adoramus te, Gratias agi- 
mus tibi, Jcsu Christe, Suscipe deprecationem nostram; 6. 
When the Credo is said at the words /// iinum Deum, 
Jesum Christum, and simul adoratur; 7. In the Preface at 
Deo nostro; 8. In the Canon at Tibi gratias agcns before 
each Consecration; 9. At Per ciimdem Christum Dominion 
nostrum, before Nobis quoque pcccatoribus; 10. At Benedicat 
vos omnipotent Dens. In accordance with a laudable 
custom an inclination is always made to the cross on 
arriving at the middle of the altar, or on leaving it. 2 


It is a great fault not to make well the sign of the 
cross, by making it in the air, without touching the 

1 This reverence after Mass is not prescribed in the Missal. See note 
2, page 99. 

2 See, however, note 2, page 99. 

204 The Ceremonies of the Mass. 

head, breast, and shoulders; and, moreover, it is also a 
fault to form the cross on the breast without carrying 
the hand to the left and the right shoulder, as some? 
even pious, priests do through negligence. 


It is a fault to genuflect at the prayer Aufer when the 
Blessed Sacrament is exposed; and so, too, it is a fault 
against the Rubric not to touch the floor with the knee 
while making genuflections. 


It is a fault to go to the middle of the altar before 
repeating the Introit, or to say the Kyrie or the Munda 
cor meum while going there,, or to recite the conclusion 
of the prayer while proceeding to the middle, because 
the Missal should be shut only after the conclusion has 
been finished. It is a fault if, when going to the altar 
or leaving it, or turning towards the people, saying Do- 
minus vobiscum or Orate Fratres, the celebrant does not 
cast down his eyes, as is prescribed by the Rubric> which 
says: demissis oculis. It is a fault if, when putting his 
hands on the altar in order to kiss it or to make a genu 
flection, the celebrant places upon it only the half of his 
hands and not the entire palms, or when, genuflecting, he 
raises them towards heaven, since he should hold them 
flat on the altar. So, also, it is a fault, when the altar is 
to be kissed not to recede from it about the space of a 
foot so as not to be obliged to make contortions or tc. 
kiss it sideways. 


When there are several prayers, it is a fault to turn the 
leaves before having finished the conclusion of the first 

CH. xvii.] Faults Common in Celebrating Mass. 205 


It is a fault not to raise the eyes at Munda cor meum, 
or not to incline profoundly, and not to hold the hands 
joined between the breast and the altar, or to begin it 
before one has arrived at the middle and raised the eyes 
towards the cross. 


It is a very great fault not to make at the beginning 
of the Gospel the sign of the cross as one should make 
it, or to make it as some usually do, who, without form 
ing a cross, draw only a serpentine line from the fore 
head to the breast. 


It is a fault: i. To recite the Offertory without joining 
the hands; 2. Not to read the Offertory at the Masses 
for the Dead, but to say it by heart while uncovering 
the chalice; 3. Not to fold the veil, but to let it fall be 
hind the chalice on the corporal, and to leave it there; 
4. While putting the chalice on the Epistle side, to take 
at the same time with the left hand the paten with the 
pall upon it; 5. Not to raise the eyes at the prayers 
Suscipc Sancte Fater, Offerimus tibi, Veni Sanctificator, and 
Suscipe Sancta Trinitas; 6. To wipe the paten with the 
chasuble; 7. To begin the prayer Deus qui humance sub- 
stantice while taking the wine cruet, instead of waiting 
till the server presents the water cruet, on which the 
sign of the cross is to be made while pronouncing those 


It is a fault: i. To begin the prayer /;/ spiritii humili- 
tatis before placing the hands joined on the edge of the 
altar; 2. To incline the head while making the genuflec- 

206 The Ceremonies of the Mass. 

tion; as at Incarnatus est, etc., or after the Consecration, 
etc., and generally when a profound or moderate incli 
nation is to be made; 3. To confound the ceremonies at 
Sursum corda and at Gratias agamus Domino Deo nostro; 
but few perform them well. They are to be performed 
in the following manner: At Sursum corda the hands are 
raised as high as the breast, and are held apart in such 
a manner that they do not exceed the width of the 
breast, and one palm of the hand looks towards the 
other. At Gratias they are raised a little higher, 1 and 
are then joined, but the eyes are raised and the head 
is inclined when the words Deo nostro are said. 


It is a fault: i. To incline the head at the words Per 
Christum Dominum nostrum, except after the Memento of 
the Dead; 2. To hold the hands joined on the altar at 
the Sanctusy because they should be held between the 
breast and the altar till the Benedictus qui venit, etc., and 
the body should be moderately inclined. 


It is a fault to say the Te igitur while the hands are 
extended; for the Rubric prescribes that at first the 
hands should be separated and raised a little; and after 
the eyes are raised towards the crucifix, and the hands 
are joined and placed on the altar, the celebrant, pro 
foundly inclined, begins the Canon, saying Te igitur. 


It is against the Rubric: i. Not to join the hands be 
fore the crosses are made over the Oblata; namely, before 
the words Hcec dona, etc., and at the words fiat dilectis- 

1 The hands are not raised higher. See Chapter VII , note i. 

Common in Celebrating Mass. 207 

simi Filii tut, etc., before he takes the Host to consecrate 
it; 2. Not to divide the crosses where the words have 
the sign*, for example, Bene^dictam, etc.; 3. To hold 
the Host only with the left hand till the cross is made 
over it; 4. To hold the Host inclined towards the cor 
poral, and not erect, when the cross is made over it. 


It is unbecoming to keep the feet in different direc 
tions or at a great distance from each other, or to place 
the tip of the right foot on the platform of the altar dur 
ing the consecration or during any other action. 


It is unbecoming: i. At the Consecration of the Host 
to place the arms entirely upon the altar; only the 
elbows should rest on it; 2. At the adoration to. place 
on the altar not only the extremities of the hands, but 
also the elbows; 3. To incline the head at the adoration 
when the Host and the chalice should be looked at; 4. 
To raise the Host and the chalice above the head; 5. In 
the genuflections not to hold the hands entirely on the 
corporal; namely, as far as the wrists, or to raise the 
fingers towards heaven. 


It is a fault: i. In the Consecration of the chalice to 
hold the knob of the chalice with both hands, when the 
foot of it should be held with the left hand; 2. Not to 
say immediately after the Consecration, but at the Ele 
vation, the words Hac quotiescumque, etc.; 3. To kiss the 
foot of the chalice or to touch it with the forehead; 4. 
Not to raise in a straight line the Host as well as the 
chalice, so high that it can be seen by the people; 5. To 

2o8 The Ceremonies of the Mass. 

say some vocal prayer at the elevation of the Host or 


It is a fault to hold the hands joined on the corporal 
when they should be so placed that the small fingers 
touch the edge of the altar; for the Rubric makes only 
the distinction that before the Consecration the thumbs 
should be held in the form of a cross, but after Conse 
cration they should not be separated from the fore 


It is a fault: i. To say either the one or the other 
Memento in a loud voice; as, Et omnium circumstantium, 
after the first, and Ipsis Domine after the second Me 
mento; 2. It is a fault in the Memento for the Dead to 
make a pause before the words Qui nos pr&cesserunt, etc., 
have been said. 


It is a fault to keep one s head inclined, with the hands 
joined on the altar, when one says: Praceptis salutaribus 
moniti, as far as the Pater noster; for the hands should 
be held joined before the breast. 


It is a fault to wipe the paten with the left hand or to 
wipe it on the chasuble after having kissed it. 


It is a fault: i. To say Agnus Dei, etc., with the hands 
joined on the altar; 2. To stand sideways at Domine non 
sum dignus, which is contrary to what has been said in 
Chapter IV., and to strike the breast violently; 3. When 

CH. xvn.i Faults Common in Celebrating Mass. 209 

signing one s self with the cross, saying: Corpus Domini 
nostri Jcsu Christi, to make the transverse line exceed the 
width of the paten. 


It is a fault: i. To say Quid retribuam Domino, etc., 
while collecting the fragments; for the Rubric says: 
Aliquantulum quiescit in meditatione Ss. Sacramenti; deinde 
depositis manibus dicit secreto : Quid retribuam Domino, et 
interim discooperit Calicem, etc.; 2. To hold the paten 
under the chin before taking the precious blood, or 
while taking it or taking the first ablution, to hold it 
near the breast; 3. To cover the paten with the pall or to 
put the paten upside down on the corporal; 4. To purify 
with the fingers the mouth, or the fingers on the edge 
of the chalice; 5. To rest the chalice on the altar in 
purifying the chalice and the fingers; 6. Not to purify 
the chalice with wine, unless one has a papal dispensa 
tion; or to take the ablution not from the part of the 
chalice where the precious blood was taken, as has been 
ordained by St. Pius V. (see Gavantus); 7. In purifying 
the fingers not to use a little wine and much water, so 
that the purificator may not be soiled. 


It is a fault: i. To place the chalice, after the ablu 
tions, in the middle of the altar with the veil turned over 
the burse, so that the chalice may be seen uncovered; 
it is a greater fault to put the folded corporal on the 
chalice, and not into the burse. 2. To say the antiphon 
called Communio while arranging the chalice, or not to 
say it at the Epistle corner, or to finish it while on the 


io The Ceremonies of the Mass. 


It is a fault while saying Et Vcrlmm caro factum est, to 
genuflect towards the cross and not towards the Gospel, 
and to raise the front of the chasuble. 


It is a fault if the celebrant takes the biretta before 
he descends from the altar, or before he makes a genu 
flection or a profound inclination, or to place it upon the 
burse, upon which nothing should be placed either in 
going to the altar or in leaving it. See Merati, p. 2, tit. 2, 
n. i, where he cites a decree of September i, 1703, which 
forbids the carrying of the Manutergium in this way; and 
the theologians say the same about any other thing. 



Notice of the Missal. 

" Sacerdos, celebraturus, omnem adhibeat diligentiam, ne desit 
aliquid ex requisites ad sacramentum Eucharistiae conficiendum. 
Potest autem defectus contingere ex parte Materiae consecrandae, 
ex parte Formae adhibendae, et ex parte Ministri conficientis. 
Quidquid enim horum deficit, scilicet Materia debita, Forma 
cum intentione, et Ordo sacerdotalis in conficiente, non con- 
ficitur Sacramentum ; et his existentibus, quibuscumque aliis 
deficientibus, veritas adest Sacramenti. Alii vero sunt defectus, 
qui in Missse celebratione occurrentes, etsi veritatem Sacramenti 
non impediant, possunt tamen aut cum peccato aut cum scan- 
dalo contingere." (J)i Defect. gen. tit. I.) 


The Altar and its Ornaments. 1 


" Altare, in quo sacrosanctum Missae Sacrificium celebrandum 
est, debet esse lapideum, et ab Episcopo, sive Abbate facultatem 
a Sede Apostolica habente, consecratum ; vel saltern Ara lapi- 
dea, similiter ab Episcopo vel Abbate, ut supra, consecrata, in 
eo inserta, quae tarn ampla sit, ut hostiam et majorem partem 
Calicis capiat." (Rubric. Miss. gen. tit. XX.) 

THE altar, of which mention is here made, consists of 
a stone that must under pain of a grave sacrilege be 
1 Theol. mor. 1. 6. n. 372 et seq. 

* The various points of which this Appendix treats are taken sub 
stantially from the " Moral Theology" of our author, who treats them 
at length. We have thought it expedient to sum up here as matters that 
one should know and should never forget, before undertaking to celebrate 
the Holy Sacrifice. If further explanations are required, they may 
easily be found in the places indicated. 

212 Appendix. 

consecrated by a bishop, by an abbot, or a privileged 
priest, who has received the power of consecrating it. 
The altar is either fixed or portable. The portable 
altar, Ara lapidea, is a consecrated stone at least so large 
that it may be able to contain the sacred Host and the 
greater part of the foot of the chalice, as well as the 
other Hosts that may have to be consecrated either on 
the corporal or in the ciborium, which is to be left on 
it till the Communion. 1 The altar stones, or portable 
altars are not validly consecrated unless the Sepulchre, 
the cavity in which the relics are placed, is covered with 
a stone (S. R. C., September 9, 1880). 2 


" Hoc altare operiatur tribus mappis seu tobaleis mundis, ab 
Episcopo vel alio habente potestatem benedictis, superior! sal 
tern oblonga, quae usque ad terram pertingat, duabus aliis brevi- 
oribus, vel una duplicata. Pallio quoque ornetur coloris, quoad 
fieri potest, diei Festo vel Ofticio convenientis." (Riibric. Miss, 
gen. tit. XX.) 

It would be at least a venial sin to celebrate Mass 

1 For further particulars see Wapelhorst, Compendium Sacra Liturgies 
page 12. 

2 The altar is of stone, and represents Jesus Christ: Petra autem erat 
Christus (i Cor. x. 4). Ipso summo angulari lapide Christo Jesu {Eph. 
ii. 20). In every consecrated church there is at least a fixed altar, the 
main altar, consecrated when the church is consecrated. The conse 
crated stone, which constitutes the portable altar, should be placed in the 
middle of the table of the altar and not far from its edge, so that one 
may easily discover it by touching the altar-cloths that should cover the 
altar entirely. The fixed altar loses its consecration when it is broken in 
a notable manner, or when the table is taken away, or when the sepulchre 
of the relics is opened. The portable altar also loses its consecration 
by a considerable fracture, or by opening the sepulchre of the relics. 
(S. R. C., 14 Mart., 1693; 15 Mail, 1819; 3 Mart., 1821; 23 Mail, 
1835; 6 Oct. 1837; 23 Maii, 1846; 23 Sept. 1848.) The relics enclosed 
in the altar are chiefly those of several martyrs; see what is said of this, 
page 40. 

The Altar and its Ornaments. 2 1 3 

without the three altar-cloths required by the Rubric; 
it would be a mortal sin to celebrate Mass without any 
altar-cloth. However, there would be no fault if such a 
thing were done in a case of grave necessity. These 
altar-cloths should be blessed, and this under pain of 
venial sin, unless there be a case of necessity or a 
reasonable cause that permits the use of altar-cloths 
that are not blessed. They should be made of linen, or 
at least of hemp, 1 and should be bleached and clean. 2 


" Super altare collocetur Crux in medio, et candelabra saltern 
duo cum candelis accensis hinc et inde in utroque ejus latere ; 
. . . et a parte Epistolse paretur cereus ad elevationem Sacra- 
menti accendendus." {Rubric, gen. Miss. tit. xx.) 

The cross is required at the altar during the celebra 
tion of Mass under pain of at least venial sin, except in a 
case of necessity. It should bear the image of Jesus 
crucified, although this is less rigorously exacted; and 
it should be placed in the middle and raised above the 
candles. The following is what Benedict XIV. says in 
regard to this matter: Nullo modo fiat Sacrificium nisi 
Crucifixus inter candelabra it a promineat, nt Sacerdos ac 
popuhis eumdem Crucifixum facile ct commode intueri possit; 
et imago non sit ita tennis et exigua, ut ipsius Sacerdotis ct 
populi oculospene effugiat. The Ceremonial of the Bishops 
prescribes the same thing. 

A special cross is not necessary where there is on the 
altar a large statue representing our Lord crucified. 
It is believed that this holds good when our Lord is 

1 S. R. C., 15 Maii, 1819. 

2 The ends of the top altar-cloth should fall usque ad terrain, that is 
to say, to the base of the altar on both sides. A Pallium or Antipen- 
dium is also required, but only when the front of the altar is not suf 
ficiently ornamented. 

2 1 4 Appendix. 

represented in a painting, provided his figure occupies 
the principal place in the picture. 1 

It is not required that the cross on the altar should 
be blessed. 2 

As for the Rights, it is never allowed to celebrate 
Mass without lights, even in a case of necessity, when 
the Viaticum is to be administered. If the light goes 
out during Mass, it must not be continued unless this 
happens after Consecration. To celebrate only with 
one light would be, according to the most probable and 
most common opinion of theologians, only a venial sin. 3 
The candles used during the celebration of Mass should 
be of bees-wax. 4 


"Ad Crucis pedem ponatur tabella Secretarum appellata ; in 
cornu Epistolae, cussinus supponendus Missali ; . . . parva 
campanula, ampullae vitreae vini et aquae cum pelvicula ct 
manutergio mundo, in fenestella seu in parva mensa ad haec 
praeparata. Super altare nihil omnino ponatur, quod ad Missae 
sacrificium vel ipsius altaris ornamentum non pertineat."- 
(Rubr. Miss.gcu. tit. XX.) 

It is not required that these different objects should 
be blessed. Instead of a cushion on which to place the 
Missal we may use a book-stand. 5 

1 When the Blessed Sacrament is exposed we should conform, in 
regard to the cross, to the usage established in each church (S. J?. C. , 2 
Sept. 1741)- 

2 S. R. C., ii //. 1 704. 

3 The candlesticks should be placed on the altar, and not fixed in the 
wall (S. ft. C., 16 Sept. 1866). In regard to the candle that should be 
lit at the Consecration, see page 154. 

4 S. .#. C., 10 Dec. 1857, n. 5255. 

5 Tabella Secretarum, cards containing the prayers that are to be 
recited in a low voice, secret o, with the Gloria in excelsis and the Credo, 
placed in the middle of the altar for the convenience of the celebrant. 
It is customary to place another at the Epistle corner for the prayer 

TJic Chalice and its Accessories. 215 


The Chalice and its Accessories.* 

" Praeparat calicem, qui debet esse vel aureus vel argenteus, 
aut saltern habere cuppam argenteam, intus inauratam, et simul 
cum patena itidem inaurata, ab Episcopo consecratus." (Rit. 
celebr. tit. I. n. I.) 

" Adsit calix cum patena conveniens, cujus cuppa debet esse 
aurea, vel argentea, vel stannea; non serea, vel vitrea." (De 
Defect, tit. X. n. i.) 

The cup of the chalice and the paten should be of 
gold, or at least of silver gilt inside; they may be of tin 
or also alluminio aliis metallis commixto, when there exists 
some reasonable cause, as the poverty of. the church or 
danger in time of persecution. 1 

Consecration is required for the paten as well as for 
the chalice. It is lost as soon as the sacred vessel de 
teriorates in such a manner that it can no longer be 
decently used at the altar; for example, if the cup of the 
chalice be split or broken, has a hole in the bottom of it, or 
if it is dissevered from the foot by fracture, but not when it 
is simply divided, that is when (calix tornatilis] the cup and 
foot are joined by a screw. The vessel does not lose its 
consecration when the gilding wears off; but when it is 
regilt, it must be reconsecrated (S. R. C., 14 Jun., 1845). 

Deus qui humanee substantice and the psalm Lavabo, and still another 
on the other side for the last Gospel. 

Ampulla vitrea. Cruets of glass are preferable for the sake of clean 
liness, and in order to prevent the danger of using water instead of 
wine; it is, however, permitted to use cruets of gold or silver (S. J?. C 
die 28 Aprilis, 1865). 

1 A little spoon to put water into the wine at the Offertory is not for 
bidden (S. R. C., 6 Feb. 1858). 

* Theol. mor. \. 6, n. 370, 386 et seq. 

2 1 6 Appendix. 


" Ponit purificatorium mundum, . . . tegit parva palla linea, 
turn velo serico ; super velo ponit bursam colons paramentorum, 
intus habentem corporale plicatum, quod ex lino tantum esse 
debet, nee serico vel auro in medio intextum, sed totum album, 
et ab Episcopo, vel alio habente potestatem, simul cum palla 
benedictum." (AY/, celebr. tit I. n. i.) 

According to the most common and most probable 
opinion, the purificator need not be blessed. 

It would be a mortal sin to celebrate Mass with a cor 
poral that is not blessed. As for the pall, it is probable 
that the sin would not be mortal. 

The purificator, pall, and corporal should be of linen 
or hemp. When these linens, after having been used, 
must be washed, this should be done for the first time 
by a cleric in the higher orders, or, according to present 
custom, by a cleric in minor orders. The water that has 
been used for this purpose should afterwards be poured 
into the Sacrarium. 

The veil and the burse need not be blessed. 


The Vestments. 1 

" Paramenta, . . . non debent esse lacera aut scissa, sed in- 
tegra, et decenter munda ac pulchra, et ab Episcopo itidem, vel 
alio facultatem habente, benedicta." (Rit. celebr. tit. I. n. 2.) 

The priest s vestments, namely, the amice, alb, cinc 
ture, maniple, stole, and chasuble should be in a good 
condition and have been blessed by the bishop or by an 
authorized priest. 

It is certainly a mortal sin to celebrate Mass without 
a chasuble, or with a chasuble not blessed; the same 
thing holds good In regard to the alb. Theologians 

1 Theol. m or. 1. 6, n. 376 et seq. 

The Vestments. 2 1 7 

agree more or less in saying the same thing in regard to 
the other vestments. 1 


"Paramenta, . . . debent esse coloris convenientis Officio et 
Missae diei, secundum usum Romanae Ecclesise, quae quinque 
coloribus uti consuevit: Albo, Rubeo, Viridi, Violaceo, et 
Nigro." (Rub. gen. tit. xviii. n. i.) 

It is more probable that the Rubric concerning the 
color of the vestments is a matter of precept; however, 
it does not oblige one under pain of mortal sin, unless 
scandal may result therefrom. A reasonable cause, such 
as the want of the vestments of the color of the day, 
would then permit the taking of another color. 2 

1 We have seen above, on pages 84, 202, the opinion of St. Alphonsus 
in regard to the employment of vestments that are in a bad condition. 

2 We here give in a few words the meaning of the five colors used : 

1. White, on the feasts of our Lord, indicates joy and glory; and on 
the feasts of the blessed Virgin, of the angels, of confessors, of virgins, 
and of other saints and martyrs, purity, innocence, and glorious im 

2. Red, at Pentecost, represents the Holy Ghost in the form of 
tongues of fire; and on the feasts of the Holy Cross and of martyrs, 
blood shed and love triumphant. 

3. Green, at the Masses de tcmpore, from the octave of the Epiphany 
to Septuagesima, and from the octave of Pentecost to Advent, signifies 
an ordinary situation, which is neither that of joy nor that of sorrow. 
The Sundays that fall within the octave are excepted; for then the color 
of the octave is taken. 

4. Violet well expresses the sentiments of humility and contrition, 
prayer joined to penance. It is used at the Masses de tempore in Ad 
vent, and from Septuagesima to Wednesday of Holy Week inclusively; 
on the Vigils and Ember days, except the Vigil and the Ember days of 
Pentecost and on the Vigil of Epiphany; on the Rogation days; on the 
feast of the Holy Innocents on account of the grief of the mothers, 
when this feast does not fall on a Sunday, on which the red color is 
used. Finally, in the votive Masses de Passione, pro quacumque neces 
sitate, pro peccatis, ad postulandam gratiam bene moriendi, ad tollendum 
schisma, contra paganos, tempore belli, pro pace, pro vitanda mortalitate, 
pro iter agenlibus, ct pro in fir mis . 

2 1 8 Appendix. 


The Matter and the Form of the Sacrament. 1 


" Si panis non sit triticeus, vel si triticeus, admixtus sit granis 
alterius generis in tanta quantitate ut non maneat panis triticeus, 
vel sit alioqui corruptus, non conficitur Sacramentum. 

"Si sit confectus de aqua rosacea, vel alterius distillationis, 
dubium est an conficiatur. 

" Si coeperit corrumpi, sed non sit corruptus ; similiter, si non 
sit azymus, secundum morem Ecclesiae latinae, conficitur ; sed 
conficiens graviter peccat. 

" Si celebrans ante Consecrationem advertit hostiam esse cor- 
ruptam, aut non esse triticeam, remota ilia hostia, aliam ponat, 
et facta oblatione, saltern mente concepta, prosequatur ab eo 
loco, ubi desivit. 

" Si id adverterit post Consecrationem, etiam post illius hostise 
sumptionem, posita alia, faciat oblationem ut supra, et a Conse- 
cratione incipiat, scilicet, ab illis verbis Qui pridie quam pa- 
tcretur et illam priorem, si non sumpsit, sumat post sumptio 
nem Corporis et Sanguinis, vel alii sumendam tradat, vel alicubi 
reverenter conservet. Si autern sumpserit, nihilominus sumat 
earn quam consecravit; quia prseceptum de perfectione Sacra- 
menti majoris est ponderis, quam quod a jejunis sumatur. 

" Quod si hoc contingat post sumptionem Sanguinis, apponi 
debet rursus novus panis, et vinum cum aqua, et facta prius 
oblatione ut supra, Sacerdos consecret, incipiendo ab illis verbis 

5. Black is the color proper to death, which deprives us of the light 
of life, and plunges us into the darkness of the tomb. It is used on 
Good Friday in memory of the darkness that covered the whole earth 
when our Lord expired, and at all the Masses of the Dead. 

The Church does not admit blue or yellow; however, the use of vest 
ments in gold cloth having been introduced, the following doubt has 
been submitted to the Congregation of Rites: An sacra paramenta 
revera auro, maxima saltern ex parte, contexta,pro quocumque colore, 
exceptis violaceo et nigro, inservire possint? The Congregation an 
swered, April 28, 1866: Tolerandum esse locorum consuetudinem , relate 
tamen ad paramenta ex auro contexta. 

1 77/tol. iof t 1. 6, n. ic, 8 et seq. 

Matter and Form of the Sacrament. 219 

Q m pridie ac statim sumat utrumque, et prosequatur Mis- 
sam ; ne Sacramentum remaneat imperfectum, et ut debitus ser- 
vetur ordo. 

" Si Hostia consecrata dispareat, vel casu aliquo, aut vento 
aut miraculo, vel ab aliquo animali accepta, et nequeat reperiri, 
tune altera consecretur ab eo loco incipiendo Qui pridie quam 
pateretur facta ejus prius oblatione, ut supra." (De Defect. 
tit. III.) 

The matter essential to the divine Sacrifice is bread 
properly so called, made of the flour of pure wheat and 
of natural water. Any other kind of grain, as also any 
mixture of artificial liquor, as rose-water, w T ould make 
the matter null, or at least uncertain, and gravely illicit. 

Unleavened and leavened bread are both valid; but 
the former is permitted only in the Latin Church and 
the latter in the Greek Church, so that a priest of the 
Latin Church who would consecrate with leavened 
bread, and a Greek priest who would consecrate \vith 
unleavened bread, would both consecrate validly, but 
would commit a mortal sin. The common and more 
probable opinion is that a priest of the Latin Church 
could not consecrate with leavened bread even in a case 
of necessity when he wished to administer holy Viati 

It is a precept in the Latin Church that the Host that 
is to be consecrated should be of a circular form; but 
this is not the case in the Greek Church. 

The Host that is consecrated for Mass should be larger 
than those that are distributed to the faithful; yet one 
may celebrate Mass with a small Host for want of an 
other, provided no scandal be thereby given; one would 
even be obliged to do so in a case of necessity; for 
example, in order to administer the Viaticum. 

The priest should communicate with the Host conse 
crated in the Mass that he celebrates; he would do 
wrong, when he renews the sacred Host for Exposition 

2 20 Appendix. 

to use the old Host to communicate at Mass, and to re 
place it by the Host that he has just consecrated at his 



" Si vinum sit factum penitus acetum, vel penitus putridum 
vel de uvis acerbis seu non maturis expressum, vel ei admixtum 
tantum aquae, ut vinum sit corruptum, non conficitur Sacra- 

" Si vinum coeperit acescere vel corrumpi, vel fuerit aliquan- 
tum acre, vel mustum de uvis tune expressum, vel non fuerit 
admixta aqua, vel fuerit admixta aqua rosacea seu alterius distil- 
lationis, conficitur Sacramentum ; sed conficiens graviter peccat. 

"Si celebrans, ante consecrationem Sanguinis, quamvis post 
consecrationem Corporis, advertat, aut vinum, aut aquam, aut 
utrumque, non esse in calice, debet statim apponere vinum cum 
aqua, et facta oblatione, ut supra, consecrare, incipiendo ab illis 
verbis Simili modo, etc. 

"Si, post verba Consecrationis, advertat vinum non fuisse 
positum, sed aquam ; deposita aqua in aliquod vas, iterum 
vinum cum aqua ponat in calice, et consecret, resumendo a 
verbis prsedictis Simili modo, etc. 

" Si hoc advertat post sumptionem Corporis, vel hujusmodi 
aquae, apponat aliam hostiam iterum consecrandam, et vinum 
cum aqua in calice, offerat utrumque ; et consecret, et sumat, 
quamvis non sit jejunus; vel, si Missa celebretur in loco pub- 
lico, ubi plures adsint, ad evitandum scandalum, poterit appo 
nere vinum cum aqua, et, facta oblatione ut supra, consecrare, 
ac statim sumere, et prosequi cetera. 

" Si quis percipiat, ante Consecrationem, vel post Consecra 
tionem, totum vinum esse acetum, vel alias corruptum, idem 
servetur quod supra, ac si deprehenderet non esse positum 
vinum, vel solam aquam fuisse appositam in calice. 

" Si autem celebrans, ante consecrationem calicis, advertat 
non fuisse appositam aquam, statim ponat earn, et proferat 
verba Consecrationis. Si id advertat post consecrationem 
calicis, nullo modo apponat ; quia non est de necessitate Sac- 

" Si Materia quae esset apponenda, ratione defectus vel panis, 
vel vini, non posset ullo modo haberi, si id sit ante consecra- 

Matter and Form of the Sacrament. 221 

tionem Corporis, ulterius procedi non debet; si post consecra- 
tionem Corporis, aut etiam vini, deprehenditur defectus alterius 
speciei, altera jam consecrata, tune, si nullo modo haberi possit, 
procedendum erit in Missa absolvenda, ita tamcn ut praetermit- 
tantur verba et signa quae pertinent ad speciem deficientem ; 
quod si, expectando aliquamdiu, haberi possit, expectandum 
erit, ne Sacrificium remaneat imperfectum." (De Defect, tit. IV.) 

The wine proper for consecration must be natural 
wine produced from the grape (virmm dcvite]. 1 Its color 
is immaterial. 

The consecration would be null if one were to use 
sour grapes or vinegar, or wine adulterated by some 

The must and the wine that begin to grow sour or to 
spoil* would furnish valid but gravely illicit matter; and 
the sin would be still more grave if one were to use a 
doubtful matter. However, in case of necessity, one 
may use wine that is a little sour. 

It is not permitted to consecrate frozen wine; never- 
theless v if one has done so, the consecration would still 
have to be regarded as valid. 

There is an obligation, under pain of grievous sin, to 
put a little water into the wine, as is prescribed by the 
Rubric; but if one has omitted to do so, the consecra 
tion would nevertheless be valid. 

In case one of the two species happens to be wanting, 
the other being consecrated, if it should be very difficult 
to procure what is needed, and considerable agitation 
would arise among the people, the Mass should be 
finished as the Rubric indicates ; for the natural law 
obliging us to avoid giving scandal prevails over the 
positive divine law which ordains that the sacrifice 
should be completed. 2 


" Defectus ex parte formae possunt contingere, si aliquid desit 
ex iis, quae ad integritatem verborum in ipsa Consecratione re- 
1 DC Defect, tit. II. " Theolog. nwr. 1. 6, n. 306. 

222 Appendix. 

quiruntur. Verba autem Consecrationis, quse sunt forma hujus 
Sacramenti, sunt haec : Hoc est enim Corpus mcuvi, et Hie cst 
enim calix Sanguinis met, novi et ccterni testamenti: mysteriitm 
fidei; qui pro vobis et pro mult is effundetur in rcmissionem pccca- 
torum. Si quis autem aliquid diminueret vel immutaret de 
forma consecrationis Corporis et Sanguinis, et in ipsa verborum 
immutatione verba idem non significarent, non conficeret Sacra- 
mentum. Si vero aliquid adderet, quod significationem non 
mutaret, conficeret quidem, sed gravissime peccaret. 

" Si celebrans non recordetur se dixisse ea quse in Consecra- 
tione communher dicuntur, non debet propterea turbari. Si 
tamen certo ei constet, se omisisse aliquid eorum quae sunt de 
necessitate Sacramenti, id est, formam Consecrationis, seu par- 
tern, resumat ipsam formam, et cetera prosequatur per ordi- 
nem. Si vero valde probabiliter dubitet se aliquid essentiale 
omisisse, iteret formam saltern sub tacita conditione. Si autem 
non sunt de necessitate Sacramenti, non resumat, sed procedat 
ulterius. (De Defect., tit. V.) 

One should pronounce each form of the consecration 
simul recitative et significative , that is to say, by reciting 
the words of Jesus Christ, and by applying their mean 
ing to the matter that is present. It must be observed 
that, if one is voluntarily distracted at the moment of 
consecration, one would commit a grievous sin. 1 


The Disposition of the Celebrant. 


"Si quis non intendit conficere, sed delusorie aliquid age re ; 
item si aliquee hostise ex oblivione remaneant in altari, vel aliqua 
pars vini, vel aliqua hostia lateat, cum non intendat consecrare 
nisi quas videt ; item si quis habeat coram se undecim hostias, 
et intendat consecrare solum decem, non detenu inans quas 
decem intendit: in his casibus non consecrat, quia requiritur 
intentio. Secus si, putans quidem esse decem, tamen omnes 

1 Mention has been made above, page 157, what properly constitutes 
the form of consecration. 

4 Theol. mor. 1. 6, n. 251, 215, et s^.Hcmo Afost. tr. 15, n. 18. 

The Disposition of the Celebrant. 223 

voluit consecrare quas coram se habebat : nam tune omnes 
erunt consecratae : atque ideo quilibet Sacerdos talem semper 
intentionem habere deberet, scilicet, consecrandi eas omnes 
quas ante se ad consecrandum positas habet. 

" Si Sacerdos, putans se tenere unam hostiam, post Consecra- 
tionom inveuerit fuisse duas simul junctas, in sumptione sumat 
simul utramque. Quod si deprehendat post sumptionem Cpr- 
poris et Sanguinis, aut etiani post ablutionem, reliquias aliquas 
relictas consecratas, eas sumat, sive parvse sint, sive magnae, 
quia ad idem sacrificium spectant. 

" Si vero relicta sit Hostia Integra consecrata, 1 earn in taber- 
naculo cum aliis rcponat ; si hoc fieri nequit, sequent! Sacerdoti 
ibi celebraturo, in altar! su-pra corporale decenter opertam, 
sumendam una cum altera, quam est consecraturus, relinquat: 
vel, si neutrum horum fieri possit, in ipso calice, seu patena 
decenter conservet, quousque vel in tabernaculo reponatur, vel 
ab altero sumatur; quod sf non habeat quomodo honeste con- 
servetur, potest earn ipsemet sumere. 

"Si intentio non sit actualis in ipsa Consecratione propter 
evagationem mentis, sed virtualis, cum accedens ad altarc 
intendat facere quod facit Ecclesia, conficitur Sacramentum, 
etsi curare debeat Sacerdos, ut etiam actualem intentionem 
adhibeat." (De Defect., tit. VII.) 

In regard to the fragments of the sacred Host or of 
the precious blood which the celebrant finds after the 
ablution, he may consume them even after he has re- 
entered the sacristy, provided he is still vested; but he 
should not do so if the fragments belong to another 
sacrifice, provided there be no danger of irreverence. 
If the celebrant has already taken off his vestments 
when he discovers similar fragments, he should put 
them into the tabernacle, or reserve them for another 
priest who is to celebrate on the same day; and if this 
cannot be done, he should consume them himself. 

1 There is question here of a Host that one discovers after having 
taken the ablution; otherwise, while still fasting, if one cannot put it 
into the tabernacle, one may consume it immediately, instead of reserv 
ing it for another priest. 

224 Appendix. 

As for the Hosts found outside of the corporal, in a 
doubt whether they are consecrated, one should consume 
them after the ablution of the chalice, or, better, with the 


"Si quis suspensus, excommunicatus, degradatus, irregularis, 
vel alias canonice impeditus celebret, conficit quidem Sacra- 
mentum, sed gravissime peccat, tarn propter Communionem, 
quam indigne sum it, quam propter executionem Ordinum, quse 
sibi erat interdicta. 

" Si quis habens copiam confessoris celebret in peccato mor- 
tali, graviter peccat. 

" Si quis autem in casu necessitatis non habens copiam con 
fessoris, in peccato mortali absque contritione celebret, graviter 
peccat. Secus si conteratur, debet tamen, cum primum poterit, 

" Si in ipsa celebratione Missse, Sacerdos recordetur se esse in 
peccato mortali, conteratur cum proposito confitendi, et satisfa- 

"Si recordetur se esse excommunicatum vel suspensum, aut 
locum esse interdictum, similiter conteratur cum proposito 
petendi absolutionem. Ante Consecrationem autem, in supra- 
dictis casibus si non timetur scandalum, debet Missam incceptam 
deserere." (De Defect., tit. VIII.) 

When, while celebrating, a priest remembers a mortal 
sin, if after consecration, he should continue; but if before 
consecration, and especially before the Canon, he should 
interrupt the Mass in order to confess, provided he can 
do so without dishonor. If in this last case the means 
of confessing were wanting, it is more probable that the 
priest would be obliged to leave the altar without fin 
ishing the Mass. This is more probable, but not certain; 
for it is not certain that the Rubric, by the word Debet, 
imposes a grave precept. Besides, it may be remarked, 
with reason, that it is hardly possible in a similar case 
to avoid dishonor. 

1 Theol. Dior. 1. 6, n. 262, 266, et seq. 

The Disposition of the Celebrant. 225 

We read in the Council of Trent: Si, necessitate urgente, 
Sacerdos (sibi conscius mortalis peccati], absque prcevia con 
fession -c cclcbravcrit, quamprimum confiteatur? And Alex 
ander VII. has condemned the two following proposi 
tions: Mandatum Tridentini, factum Saccrdoti sacrificanti 
ex necessitate cum pcccato mortali, confitendi quamprimum, est 
consiliitm, non prceceptum. Ilia particula QUAMPRIMUM 
intelligitur^ cum Sacerdos suo temporc confitebitur? It is 
therefore a formal obligation, and, according to the 
opinion of theologians, it should be fulfilled within 
three days. Such is the best interpretation of the word 
quamprimum.* It is understood that an accidental cause, 
such as the duty of celebrating Mass on the following 
day, may besides render this obligation more pressing. 


" Si quis non est jejunus post mediam noctem, etiam post 
sumptionem solius aquae, vcl alterius potus, aut cibi, per modum 
tiain medicinae, et in quantacumque parva quantitate, non 
t jotest communicare nee celebrare. 

"Si autem ante mediam noctem cibum aut potum sumpserit, 
etiamsi postmodum non dormierit nee sit digestus, non peccat ; 
sed ob perturbationem mentis, ex qua devotio tollitur, consulitur 
aliquando abstinendum. 

"Si reliquiae cibi remanentes in ore transglutiantur, non 
imped iunt communionem, cum non transglutiantur per modum 
cibi, sed per modum salivas. Idem dicendum, si lavando os, 
deglutiatur stilla aquae praeter intentionem. 

"Si plures Missas in una die celebret, ut in Nativitate Domini 
in unaquaque Missa abluat digitos in aliquo vase mundo, et in 
ultima tan turn percipiat purincationem. 

" Si praecesserit pollutio nocturna, quae causata fuerit ex prae- 
cedenti cogitatione qune sit peccatum mortale, vel evenerit propter 
nimiam crapulam, abstinendum est a communione et celebra- 

1 Scss. XIII. cap. VII. Prop. 38 et 39. 

3 The Rubric cited above, instead of Quamprimum > says: Cumprimum 
poterit. This means the same. 

4 Thcol. in or. 1. 6, n. 278 et scq. 

226 Appendix. 

tione, nisi aliud Confessario videatur. Si dubium est an in prae- 
cedenti cogitatione fuerit peccatum mortale, consulitur absti- 
nendum, extra tamen casum necessitatis. Si autem certum est 
non fuisse in ilia cogitatione peccatum mortale, vel nullam fu- 
isse cogitationem, sed evenisse ex naturali causa, aut ex diabolica 
illusione, potest communicare et celebrare ; nisi ex ilia corporis 
commotione tanta evenerit perturbatio mentis, ut abstinendum 
videatur." (De Defect, tit. IX.) 

Although the precept of the Eucharistic fast is only 
an Ecclesiastical law, it admits of no lightness of matter; 
but, to violate it, three conditions are required: (i) that 
what we take be taken from without; (2) that we take 
it by way of eating or drinking; (3) that it be nourish 
ment or drink. 

When one swallows remnants of food taken the even 
ing before and retained in the mouth, if one does so, 
not inadvertently but designedly, the very probable 
opinion is that that is sufficient to break the fast. It is 
therefore prudent, when one feels such remnants coming 
upon the tongue, to reject it rather than to swallow it. 1 

The drops of water that remain mixed with saliva 
after one has washed one s mouth, if one swallows them 
designedly, also break the fast; such is the common 
opinion given about this matter. 

The fast would be broken if one puts a piece of sugar 
into one s mouth before midnight and swallows it after 
wards; if one swallows water, even involuntarily, having 
fallen, for instance, into the river; also if it is blood that 
one sucks from a wounded finger; but not if the blood 
came from the gums. 

One does not break the fast if accidentally one swal 
lows while breathing grains of tobacco taken into the 

1 We here see that the author gives only a counsel. The opposite 
opinion not being improbable, and the Rubric itself not making any 
distinction, we should not, if the case occurs, be too scrupulous in this 

Accidents. 227 

nose, or dust or rain or snow-flakes, even a gnat. One 
may not say as much of tobacco juice; but all agree 
that it is unbecoming to chew tobacco before Mass. It 
would be a venial sin to do so without a reason. 

Finally, the fast is not broken if one swallows things 
that cannot be digested, such as hair, metal, glass, silk, 
wool, etc.; but this is not the case in regard to paper, 
straw, flax, wax, and other things that the stomach can 
decompose by drawing nourishment from them. 

If one remembers after consecration that one is not 
fasting, one should finish the Mass; if before consecra 
tion, and, above all, before the Canon, one should leave 
the altar unless this could not be done without scandal; 
for in this case one should continue the Mass that is 
begun. 1 


Accidents. 2 

" Si Sacerdote celebrante, violetur Ecclesia ante Canonem, 
dimittatur Missa; si post Canonem, non dimittatur. Si timeatur 
incursus hostium, vel alluvionis, vel ruina loci ubi celebratur, 
ante Consecrationem dimittatur Missa; post Consecrationem 
vcro, Sacerdos accelerare poterit Sumptionem Sacramenti, 
omissis omnibus aliis." 

The church js profaned or polluted in the following 
cases: i. Voluntary homicide that is criminal or inju 
rious to the holy place; 2. Suicide that is also voluntary 
and criminal; 3. A wound that causes considerable 

1 To interior purity should be joined exterior decorum propriety, 
order, and modesty. If these qualities are requisite in a priest in every 
place and at all times, they are much more required when he ascends 
the altar. 

Mention has already been made, in the preceding pages, of the 
various accidents that may occur during Mass; we here make a sum 
mary of other accidents by following the Rubric. (Dc Defect, tit. X.) 

3 Thcol. mor. 1. 6, n. 352, 361, et seq. 

228 Appendix. 

effusion of blood and that cannot be excused from 
mortal sin. The crime must have been committed in 
the interior of the church, and must be known to the 
public. One may say Mass in a profaned church when 
it is necessary; for example, if there is no other church 
where the people can hear Mass. 

It is never permitted to mutilate intentionally the 
holy Sacrifice even for the purpose of avoiding death; 
but one may sometimes do so accidentally and indi 
rectly; as, when one is surprised by a conflagration, or 
by an invasion, or by some other extreme peril. In this 
case the priest may at once consume the consecrated 
Host, or carry it away with him, without consecrating 
the chalice; for then he does not mutilate the Sacrifice, 
but he is dispensed from finishing it. 1 


"Si Sacerdos, ante Consecrationem, graviter infirmetur, vel 
in syncopen inciderit, aut moriatur, prsetermittitur Missa; si 
post consecrationem Corporis tantum, ante Consecrationem 
Sanguinis, vel utroque consecrate id accidit, Missa per alium 
Sacerdotem expleatur ab eo loco ubi ille desiit, et in casu 
necessitatis etiam per non jejunum. Si autem non obierit, sed 
fuerit infirmus, adeo tamen ut possit communicare, et non adsit 
alia Hostia consecrata, Sacerdos qui Missam supplet, dividat 
Hostiam, et unam partem prsebeat infirmo, aliam ipse sumat. 
Si autem, semiprolata forma Corporis obiit Sacerdos, quia non est 
consecratio, non est necesse, ut Missa per alium suppleatur. Si 
vero obierit semiprolata forma Sanguinis, tune alter prosequatur 
Missam, et super eumdem calicem repetat integram for mam, ab 
eo loco, Simili modo postquani cccnatuni estve\ posset super 
alium Calicem prseparatum integram formam proferre, et 
Hostiam primi Sacerdotis, et Sanguinem a se consecratum 
sumere, ac deinde Calicem relictum semiconsecratum. 

" Si quis, extra hujusmodi casus necessitatis, Integra Sacra- 
menta non sumpserit gravissime peccat." (De Defect, tit. X.) 

1 We read in the Rubric given at n. 2: Si qtiis, extra hujusmodi 
casus necessitatis, integra Sacrament a non sumpserit gravissime peccat. 

Accidents. 229 

It would be better for the celebrant who happens to 
become ill after the consecration, to resume and finish 
the Sacrifice himself, although he is not fasting; 1 but, if 
he is incapable of doing so, his place must be supplied 
by another priest, even though no one else could be had 
than a priest who is excommunicated and irregular. 2 


" Si musca, vel aranea, vel aliquid aliud, ceciderit in calicem 
ante Consecrationem, projiciat vinum in locum decentem, et 
aliud ponat in calice, misceat parum aquae, offerat ut supra, et 
prosequatur Missarn. Si post Consecrationem ceciderit musca, 
aut aliquid ejusmodi, et fiat nausea Sacerdoti, extrahat earn, et 
lavet cum vino; finita Missa comburat, et combustio ac lotio 
hujusmodi in sacrarium projiciatur; si autem non fuerit ei 
nausea, nee ullum periculum timeat, sumat cum Sanguine. 

" Si aliquid venenosum ceciderit in Calicem, vel quod pro- 
vocaret vomitum, Vinum consecratum reponendum est in alio 
calice, 3 et aliud vinum cum aqua apponendum denuo conse- 
crandum ; et finita Missa, Sanguis repositus in panno lineo vel 
stuppa tamdiu servetur, donee species vini fuerint desiccatae, et 
tune stuppa comburatur, et combustio in sacrarium projiciatur. 

" Si aliquid venenatum contigerit Hostiam consecratam, tune 
alteram consecret, et sumat eo modo quo dictum est, et ilia 
servetur 4 in tabernaculo in loco separate, donee species corrum- 
pantur, et corrupts deinde mittantur in sacrarium." 6 (Dc 
Defect, tit. X. 5, 6, et 7.) 

1 Many authors think that even in this case it would be sufficient that 
the sick celebrant could consume the Host and the precious blood and 
omit the other ceremonies. 

2 If one can find no priest to finish the Sacrifice, at least before mid 
day, the consecrated species must be kept to be consumed at the Mass 
of the following day. 

3 /;/ alio calice, or in a vessel that is blessed ; but if a second chalice 
can be had, it seems to be preferable to use it for finishing Mass by 
leaving the consecrated Wine in the first chalice according to the advice 
of Janssens. 

4 Servetur, in the tabernacle, but apart. 

" Quandoque accidit ut, in extersione coporalis, colligatur pulvis 

230 Appendix. 


" Si Hostia ante Consecrationem inveniatur fracta, nisi populc 
evidenter appareat, tails Hostia consecretur ; si autem scandalum 
populo esse possit, alia accipiatur, et offeratur; quod si illius 
Hostia? jam erat factaoblatio.eam post ablutionem sumat; quod 
si ante oblationem Hostia appareat confracta, accipiatur altera 
Integra, si citra scandalum, aut longam moram fieri poterit. 

"Si propter frigus, vel negligentiam, Hostia consecrata 
dilabatur in Calicem, propterea nihil est reiterandum ; sed 
Sacerdos Missam prosequatur, faciendo Cceremonias et signa 
consueta cum residua parte Hostiae, quse non est madefacta 
Sanguine, si commode potest ; si vero tota fuerit madefacta, non 
extrahat earn, sed omnia dicat omittendo signa, et sumat pariter 
Corpus et Sanguinem, signans se cum Calice, dicens Corpus et 
San^uis Domini nostri, etc."(De Defect, tit. X. 9, 10.) 


" Si in hieme Sanguis congeletur in calice, involvatur Calix 
pannis calefactis ; si id non proficeret, ponatur in ferventi aqua 
prope altare, dummodo in Calicem non intret, donee liquefiat. 

" Si per negligentiam aliquid de Sanguine Christi ceciderit, 
siquidem super terram, seu super tabulam, lingua lambatur, et 
locus ipse radatur quantum satis est, et abrasio comburatur; 
cinis vero in sacrarium recondatur. Si vero super lapidem 
altaris ceciderit, sorbeat Sacerdos stillam, et locus bene ablua- 
tur, et ablutio in sacrarium projiciatur. Si super linteum altaris, 
et ad aliud linteum stilla pervenerit ; si usque ad tertium: lintea- 

tabaci; circa quod, distinguendum est: si iste pulvis nullum Hostise 
fragmentum contigerit, tune potest extra corporale projici; si frag- 
menta contigerit, subdistinguendum: si ab eis certe separari valeat, 
tune post Missam in sacrarium projiciatur; si vero ipsis fragmentis sit 
commixtus, tune, secluso nausese periculo, sumendus vid.etur cum frag 
mentis Hostiae, ipsi adhserentibus, et potius cum purificatione calicis, 
quam cum Sacro Sanguine: si vero nausea timeatur, super corporale 
relinquatur. At quid, finita Missa, agendum sit de illo pulvere, de illis 
fragmentis; an in tabernaculo servanda, ad modum Hostise venenatse; 
id aliis definiendum relinquo." (Bouvry.) 

1 Pernegligentiam y as usually happens. Against this the Rubric warns 
us; but we must act in the same way if the thing takes place in conse 
quence of any accident. 

Accidents. 231 

mina ter abluantur ubi stilla ceciderit, calice supposito, et aqua 
ablutionis in sacrarium projiciatur. Quod si in ipso solum 
corporali, aut si in vestibus ipsis sacerdotalibus ceciderit, debet 
similiter ablui, et ablutio in sacrarium projici. Si in substrate 
pedibus panno, vel tapeto, bene abluatur, ut supra. 

" At si contingat totum Sanguinem post Consecrationem 
effundi, si quidem aliquid, vel parum remansit, illud sumatur, 
et de effuso reliquo Sanguine fiat, ut dictum est. Si vero nihil 
omnino remansit, ponat iterum vinum et aquam, et consecret ab 
eo loco, Simtli modo postquam cccnatum est, facta prius tamen 
calicis oblatione, ut supra." (De Defect, tit. X. n, 12, 13.) 


" Si Sacerdos evomat Eucharistiam, si species integrae ap- 
pareant, reverenter sumantur, nisi nausea fiat; tune enim 
Species consecratae caute separentur, et in aliquo loco sacro 
reponantur, donee corrumpantur, et postea in sacrarium proji- 
ciantur. Quod si species non appareant, comburatur vomitus, 
et cineres in sacrarium mittantur. 

"Si Hostia consecrata, vel aliqua ejus particula dilabatur in 
terram, reverenter accipiatur, et locus ubi cecidit, mundetur, et 
aliquantulum abradatur, et pulvis seu abrasio hujusmodi in 
sacrarium immittatur. Si ceciderit extra Corporale in mappam, 
seu alio quovis modo in aliquod linteum, mappa vel linteum 
hujusmodi diligenter lavetur, et lotio ipsa in sacrarium effunda- 
tur." (De Defect, tit. X. 15.) 

If, while one is distributing holy Communion, a 
Host happens to fall, after having picked it up, one 
should first cover the place with a clean linen cloth, and 
wash the place afterwards, as is prescribed by the 
Rubric, which, however, does not bind one Sub grari. 
Usually one may even omit to wash the garment or the 
beard in order not to inconvenience the people. If the 
Host falls into the bosom of a woman, the priest should 
not take it from her himself; the woman should take it 
away with her own hand and replace it in the ciborium. 1 

1 Theol. mor. 1. 6, n. 250. According to Benedict XIV. (De Sacrif. 
M. 1. 3- c - 20.), the woman that communicates may in this case her- 



The Place and the Time in which one may celebrate Mass. 

i. THE PLACE. 1 

" Possunt etiam defectus occurrere in ministerio ipso, si ali- 
quid ex requisites ad illud desit, ut si celebretur in loco non sa- 
cro, vel non deputato ab Episcopo." (De Defect, tit. X. 16.) 

Generally, it is permitted to celebrate Mass only in 
churches and chapels that are consecrated or blessed, 
and that are not profaned, execrated, or interdicted. 

The exceptions to this rule are the following: 

1. In a case of necessity, as when the church is de 
stroyed, inundated, threatened with ruin, or too small 
for the crowd, one may celebrate Mass in a decent 
place, in order that the people may not be deprived of 
the Mass on days of precept. One should, however, in 
such cases ask the permission of the Ordinary, if this is 

2. In the camp, for the army. 

3. In the harbor, on the arrival of a ship, for those 
that cannot go far away. 

4. On the vessel at sea, but only by a Papal indult, 
granted with conditions and with prescribed pre 
cautions; namely, that the weather be fair and the sea 
tranquil; that the vessel be far away from the shore, 
and that there be at the side of the celebrant a second 
priest or a deacon who watches over the chalice. 

One may say Mass in the churches or chapels of reli 
gious Communities, seminaries, colleges, hospitals, pub 
lic prisons, and, generally, in all the chapels where 
divine worship is held, with the authorization of the 

A privilege from the Pope is needed to authorize the 
self convey the Host to her mouth. We add that it will be proper for 
her to wash her fingers in a vessel, and to dry them with a purificator. 

1 Thcol. mor. 1. 6, n. 356 et seq. 

The time when one may celebrate Mass. 233 

celebration of Mass in a domestic oratory. There are, 
however, cases in which, for a grave and passing cause, 
the Ordinary may permit the saying of Mass in the 
house of one of the faithful. 

2. THE TiME. 1 

" Missa privata, post Matutinum et Laudes, quacumque hora 
ab aurora usque ad meridiem dici potest." {Rub. gen. tit. XV. 
n. i.) 

" Tern pus debitum celebrandi, quod est ab aurora usque ad 
meridiem commu niter." (De Defect, tit. X. n. i.) 

The aurora is of more or less extent, according to the 
degree of latitude and the season. Generally, in the 
United States it varies between one and two hours be 
fore the rising of the sun. Without a special privilege, 
it is not allowed to say Mass ante auroram or post meri 
diem. These two points of time, the aurora and mid 
day, must be understood not mathematically but morally, 
so that it is permitted to finish Mass at the beginning 
of the aurora and to begin it a little before mid-day. 
Hence, Mass may be said nearly two hours before sun 
rise. The privilege is usually granted by the bishops 
to celebrate Massferunam horam ante auroram et aham 
post meridiem. 

Such is the ordinary rule; but we may go beyond 
these limits in certain cases of necessity; for example, 
in order to give the Viaticum, to the dying, it is per 
mitted to say Mass at midnight; on account of a jour 
ney, we may say it an hour before the aurora or an hour 
after mid-day. Moreover, the Ordinary, whether a 
Bishop in his diocese or a Superior in a religious Order, 
has the faculty of dispensing in this respect in particular 
cases, for any reasonable cause. 

One would commit a grave sin if, without a reason- 

1 TJicol. nior. 1. 6, n. 340 ct scq. 

234 Appendix. 

able motive, one would celebrate Mass an hour before 
the aurora or an hour after mid-day. 1 

Mass when celebrated in Aliena Ecclesia. 2 


By an Aliena Ecclesia is meant a church of seculars, or 
regulars, or of nuns who say the Office in choir, either 
in the diocese of the celebrant or out of it, in which a 
different Office, or, consequently, a different Mass, from 
that of a celebrant is prescribed. 

A private oratory, or the chapel of nuns who do not 
celebrate the Office in choir, or the chapel of a seminary, 
is not an Aliena Ecclesia; and consequently the rules 
given below do not apply to them. 

GENERAL PRINCIPLE. The Mass is conformable to the 
Office of the Celebrant. 

Rules for Mass in Aliena Ecclesia. 

I. When the Celebrant s Office is a Duplex, and the 
Office of the Aliena Ecclesia also is Duplex, the Cele 

(a] Should say his own Mass if his color is the 

same as that of the church; 

(&) Should say the Mass of the church if his color 
is different. 

1 We must remark that, even during the night preceding Christmas, 
it is not permitted to say a private Mass before the aurora, nor to give 
Communion. (S. R. C., Dec. 7, 1641; Sept. 15, 1668; Sept. 18, 

2 The Rubrics of the Missal do not give any rules that are to be fol 
lowed in this case ; nor does our holy author treat the case specially. 
We have, however, deemed some rules to be indispensable in the pre 
sent treatise. We copy the summary from the Irish Ecclesiastical Rec- 
ord (August, 1888), which translated it from the Ephemerides Liturgicce 
(No 4. p. 245, April, 1888, Romre). 

Mass in Alicna Ecclcsia. 235 

II. When the Celebrant s Office is a Duplex, and that 
of the Aliena Ecclcsia a Semiduplex or Simplex, the 
Celebrant should say his own Mass, no matter whether 
his color is the same as that of the church or not. 

III. When the Celebrant s Office is a Semiduplex or 
Simplex, and the Office of the church a Duplex, the 

(a) Will say his own Mass if his color is the same 
as that of the church; 

(I)] But the Mass of the church if the color is dif 

IV. When the Celebrant s Office is a Semiduplex or 
Simplex, that of the church a Semiduplex or Simplex, 
the celebrant will say his own Mass, or Requiem Mass, 
or Votive Mass, as he would in his own church 


In the following cases the Mass of the Aliena Ecclesia 
must always be said. Hence the foregoing Rules do 
not apply to them: 

1. When the Aliena Ecclesia is celebrating a Feast cum 
solemnitate et concur su populi. 

2. When the Celebrant says the Parochial Mass, as 
substitute for the Parish Priest, or the Community 
Mass in a convent of nuns bound to the choral recita 
tion of the Office. 

3. When he celebrates a High Mass or Missa Cantata. 

4. When the Celebrant s Office is of a Bcatus not in 
cluded in the calendar of the Aliena Ecclcsia. 

5. When he celebrates in the church of Regulars who 
have the privilege permitting all priests celebrating 
there to conform to their calendar. 

236 Appendix. 


The Server of Mass. 1 

" Sacerdos .... accedit ad altare, ministro cum Missali et 
aliis ad celebrandum necessariis (nisi ante fuerint prseparata) 
precedente, superpelliceo induto. (Pit. cclcbr. tit. II. n. i.) 

" Defectus . . . . , si non adsit clericus vel alius deserviens 
in Missa, vel adsit qui deservire non debet, ut mulier." (De 
Defect, tit. X. n. i.) 

It is certain that, without a special faculty usually 
granted by the bishops of this country, the priest would 
commit a mortal sin if he celebrated Mass without a 
server. However, it is permitted to do so in the case of 
necessity in order to administer the Viaticum; and then 
the priest himself serves. Many authors admit the 
same exception in order that the people may hear Mass 
on a day of precept. 

When the Mass has begun, and especially after the 
Offertory, if the server absents himself and delays to 
come back, it is probable that the celebrant may con 
tinue without him. 

It is also probable that the celebrant should not be 
scrupulous if the server pronounces the words badly, 
nor, in wishing to correct his faults, should he trouble 
himself or his assistants; however, he should supply 
what the server omits. There need be no such great 
necessity to say Mass with a server who cannot answer, 
as to say Mass without a server. 

It would be a mortal sin to admit a woman to serve 
Mass; in a case of necessity, it would be better to cele 
brate without a server. When necessary, however, a 
woman, especially if she is a religious, may from her 
place answer the celebrant, but she cannot approach the 
altar to offer the cruets, etc. 

1 T/u ol. tnor. 1. 6, n. 382, 391, et 392. 

The Server of Mass. 237 

It is proper, according to the Rubric, that the func 
tions of the server be performed by a cleric, or one that 
has received at least the tonsure and wears the clerical 
dress; but a layman can supply his place. However, 
it is not permitted to the latter to touch the sacred ves 
sels, nor the corporal, under pain of venial sin, un 
less there is a reasonable motive and it can be done 
with respect and without scandal. A cleric who has re 
ceived the tonsure may touch the sacred vessels; and 
the same privilege is also granted to the religious of 
both sexes when they exercise the duties of sacristan. 

238 The Honorarium of Masses. 



Reply to an anonymoiis Book entitled " Dissertation on the Honorarium 
of Masses." 

RECENTLY, during the year 1768, there was repub- 
lished at Naples an anonymous book entitled " Disser 
tation on the Honorarium of Masses." The entire aim 
of the author is to exhibit the great disorders, the sins 
of simony, the sacrileges, and the scandals that arise 
from the custom of priests receiving honoraria, or 
stipends, from the faithful, with the obligation of apply 
ing Masses specially to the intention of the givers. 

i. Ancient Custom of Public Masses with Offerings, and 
Origin of Paid Masses. 

It is certain that, during the first ages of the Church, 
there was nothing to fear from the abuses that were 
subsequently introduced with the custom of honoraria; 
for at that time a single priest, either the bishop or 
another, celebrated the Mass, during which all the faith 
ful brought their offerings of bread and wine, with other 

1 St. Alphonsus published this treatise in a volume, of which it formed 
the third part ; the first part was composed of the treatise The Cere 
monies of the Mass, "as may be seen in the preceding pages and the 
second of exercises on the Passion for preparation and thanksgiving, 
preceded by an introduction on the respect with which one should cele 
brate Mass, as we see at the end of this volume. See Tannoia and 
Villecourt, 1. 3, ch. 42. We add a few useful notes. ED. 

2 This is evidently an Italian translation of the work published in 
France in 1748, under the same title, and also without the name of the 
author. We have before us the second edition, which appeared in 1757. 
Feller ascribes it to Dom Guiard, a Benedictine of the Congregation of 
St. Maurus. 

The Honor ariitm of Masses. 239 

eatables. 1 Afterwards they also began to offer money. 
These offerings were put into little boxes and then pre 
sented; after this the minister of the celebrant namely, 
the deacon in the Greek Church and the subdeacon in 
the Latin Church made known to him the persons who 
had offered the gifts, that he might name them at the 
altar, or that he might recommend their wants to God. 
The Lord, according to his divine will and according to 
the disposition of these persons, dispensed to them his 
graces by virtue of the holy Sacrifice, each one partici 
pating in it as much as he was able conformably to his 
merit and to the divine judgments. 

But, about the eighth century there began to be in 
troduced the " manual " or " paid " Masses, as our 
author calls them; that is to say, it was agreed that the 
priest, by receiving a certain remuneration, pledged him 
self that he would apply the medium or special 2 fruit 
of such a Mass to the profit or according to the inten 
tion of him who paid the money. 

This new custom, little by little, supplanted the cus 
tom of making offerings. The usage of saying Mass 
specially for those that gave a contribution being always 

1 Wax, oil, flour, etc., were also offered, all that was necessary for 
the exercise of worship and for the subsistence of its ministers, as well 
as for the relief of the poor. 

2 " Distinguitur (fructus Missre) in generalem, specialem, et special- 
issimum: fructus gencralis obtingit omnibus fidelibus vivis etdefunctis; 
specialis^ ab aliis dictus meditts vel ministeriaUs, obtingit tam eis pro 
quibus applicatur, quam assistentibus et concurrentibus ministrando 
paramenta, luminaria, hostias, etc.; specialissimus demum obtingit soli 
Sacerdoti." (Thcol. mor. 1. 6, n. 312.) Cardinal Gousset thus dis 
tinguishes these same fruits of the holy Sacrifice: " The general fruit, 
which is common to all the faithful, to the living, and to the dead de 
tained in purgatory; the special fruit, which is for all those that attend 
or take some part in the celebration of the Mass; the very special 
fruit, which is particularly for those to whose intention the Mass is 
said; finally, the personal fruit for the priest who says the Mass." (Dc 

240 The Honorarium of Masses. 

on the increase, it happened that in the twelfth century 
the making of offerings entirely ceased, since it was no 
longer the custom of celebrating those Masses the fruit 
of which might be applied in common. 1 

2. Abuses Occasioned by the Admission of Honoraria, and the 
Means Employed to Remedy Them. 

It cannot be denied that this change gave rise to dif 
ferent abuses, either on the part of the priests or on the 
part of those that gave contributions for Masses. Some 
priests, prompted by cupidity, endeavored to gain from 
this as much as they could. Some of them were seen to 
say Mass several times a day, not out of devotion, not 
through necessity, but only through avarice. Others 
obliged their penitents and the sick whom they assisted 
to give them or to bequeath them contributions for 
Masses. There were some who, as Cardinal Bona 2 re 
lates, went so far as to exact several contributions for 
the same Mass. They then said before the Offertory 
several Introits, several prayers, as many Epistles and 
Gospels, etc.; this was called a two-faced, a three-faced 
Mass Missa bifaciata, trifaciata? The divine Sacrifice 
was- thus made a shameful traffic; as the Council of 
Toledo calls it: "Super hoc, ac si vellent vendere rem 
profanam, impudenter mercantur." 4 

This evil was the cause of much solicitude to the 
Church, either in order to hinder the avarice of priests 
and seculars or in order to discharge the intention of 
those that gave the honoraria. Hence the Holy See, 
always watching with zeal and prudence over the ex 
tirpation of the abuses that crept into sacred things, did 
not cease to find out means to do away with those 

1 See what is said about this further on, at n. 6. 

2 De Rebus lit. 1. i, c. 15. 

3 " Alia nequitia: Sacerdotes, in eadem Missa, tot hostias consecra- 
bant, quot erant eleemosynam offerentes." (Theol. mor. 1. 6, n. 316.) 

4 Anno 1324, cap. 6. 

TJic Honorarium of Masses. 241 

abuses which, in consequence of false opinions held by 
certain minds, had insinuated themselves into this mat 
ter of paid Masses. 

Under Pope Urban VIII., from 1623 to 1644, the Con 
gregation of the Council enacted, by several decrees, that 
the priest who has received from any one a contribution 
to celebrate Mass is obliged to apply the Mass to this 
person, even though the contribution would be less than 
the tax established in the diocese. Moreover, it was 
ordained that the priest who receives from several per 
sons various small sums to say Masses is obliged to 
celebrate as many of them as the times the established 
tax is contained in the sum total. It was also pre 
scribed that he who receives a large contribution is 
obliged to give it entirely to the celebrant, without re 
taining any part of it, even when the celebrant is satis 
fied with what is remitted to him; 1 and this was con 
firmed by Benedict XIV., in his Bull Quanta cura; in 
which he imposed excommunication upon laymen, and 
suspension upon ecclesiastics, who would retain a part 
of the contribution given. 

In the decrees of Pope Urban VIII., it was also enacted 
that the administrators of churches cannot retain any 
part of the contributions for Masses in order to cover 
the expenses of the celebration, unless the churches, 
being quite poor, had not the means to provide for these 
expenses. 2 Furthermore, the Congregation of the Coun 
cil decreed, July 6, 1726, that the arch-priests are not 
obliged to furnish the wine, the candles, and the hosts 
to the ecclesiastics that say Mass in their churches, 
even though the latter must celebrate Mass there so as 
to fulfil the duties of chaplains. It is also decided at 
the same time that, in regard to adventitious 3 Masses, 

1 Benedict XIV., Instil. 56, n. 6. 
2 //;/</. n. 12. 
3 Hud n. 13. 

242 The Honorarium of Masses. 

the Rectors are not obliged to furnish these articles ex 
cept to those priests that come to celebrate in their 
churches with their consent. 1 

Under Pope Alexander VII., December 13, 1659, the 
Sacred Congregation forbade the receiving for one Mass 
of two contributions, one of which for the application of 
the satisfactory fruit, and the other for the impetratory 
fruit. The same Pope, September 7, 1665, through the 
Congregation of the Holy Office, condemned among 
others this proposition: " Duplicatum stipendium potest 
Sacerdos pro eadetn Missa licite accipere, applicando 
petenti partem etiam specialissimam fructus ipsimet 
celebranti correspondentem." Also the following: " Non 
est contra justitiam, pro pluribus sacrifices stipendium 
accipere, et sacrificium unum offerre; neque etiam est 
contra fidelitatem, etiamsi promittam, juramento pro- 
missione etiam firmata, danti stipendium, quod pro 
nulio alio offeram." 

Under Pope Innocent XL, from 1676 to 1689, the 
Sacred Congregation forbade chaplains to celebrate 
Mass on the days of a permitted vacancy, for others than 
the founders. Besides, the chaplains that are obliged 
to celebrate Mass without having the obligation of satis 
fying through themselves, received the prohibition of 
abstaining at times from celebrating and of not satisfy 
ing their obligation. 

As the Council of Trent 2 forbids the receiving of any 
thing for the first Mass of a newly ordained priest, the 
question has been discussed whether it is permitted him 

1 Missas adventitias, "Nemo ignorat pcrpctuas alias, alias vero 
adventitias, Missas nuncupari: primae quidem quotidie, vel certis 
quibusdam diebus, ratione beneficii, aut fundatoris institute, vel testa- 
torisvoluntate, celebrantur; adventitiae vocantur, proquibus stipendium 
a fidelibus traditur, ita tamen ut nullus fundus nullumque onus in futti- 
rum tempus constituatur" (Benedict XIV., Instit. 56, n. 10.) We also 
distinguish founded Masses from those Masses that are called manual. 

2 Sess. XXII., Deer, dc obscrv. 

The Honorarium of Masses. 243 

to receive some offering during this Mass. Gregory 
XIII., in 1573: " Audita relatione Congregationis Con- 
cilii, decrevit licere se vertere in medio altaris ad popu- 
lum, et accipere oblationes, non autem circumire eccle- 

By the decrees of Urban VIII., it is also established 
that, when a testator has arranged to have a certain 
number of Masses without determining the contribution 
for them " esse ab Episcopo prsescribendam eleemosynam 
congruam, quse respondeat oneribus Missarum cele- 
brandarum, secundum morem civitatis vel provincise." 

The wish was expressed of forbidding laymen to give 
for the Mass a contribution above the tax fixed by the 
bishop, and priests to receive it, even when it is offered 
spontaneously. Hence a doubt arose, which was thus 
formulated: "An possit Episcopus prohibere sub pcena 
censurarum laicis, ne pinguius stipendium taxa solvant 
Sacerdotibus, tarn soecularibus quam regularibus, Mis- 
sam celebrantibus, et quod iidem Sacerdotes illud accep- 
tare non possint, etiam a sponte dantibus ?" The Con 
gregation of the Council answered, January 16, 1649: 
" Prohiberi non posse." The following question was 
then asked: " An Episcopus statuere possit eleemosynam 
manualem unius integri julii 1 pro qualibet Missa, im- 
ponendo pcenam celebrantibus pro minori quantitate ?" 
To this the answer was given: " Affirmative quoad 
eleemosynam manualem." 5 

It was, moreover, asked whether he that received a 
contribution only to celebrate Mass can receive a second 
contribution to apply the fruit of it. Passerinus holds 
the affirmative opinion, and it is also the opinion of the 
author of the " Instructions for New Confessors," 
printed at Rome. Resting on this opinion Gavantus 
cites the following resolution of the Congregation of the 

1 Giulio, a Roman coin, worth about thirty centimes. 
s Benedict XIV., Instil. 56. n 1 1. 

244 The Honorarium of ML 


Council, dated July 13, 1630: " Quando, in fundatione 
beneficii seu capellae, expresse cautum est non teneri 
celebrantem ad applicationem Sacrificii, eo casu poterit 
celebrans accipere novum stipendium." Nevertheless, 
Father Diana says that the Sacred Congregation, in the 
supposed case, has always judged that it is never per 
mitted to priests to receive a double contribution; and in 
favor of this opinion another answer of the same authority 
is produced. This was the question: " An Sacerdotes qui 
nulla alia obligatione in confraternitatibus vel mon- 
asteriis monialium celebrant, quam pro ornatu ecclesise, 
vel ut confratres vel moniales satisfaciant prsecepto au- 
diendi Missam, possint, ultra stipendium quod recipiunt 
a confraternitate vel monialibus, aliud recipere ?" To 
this the Congregation of the Council gave answer, July 
9 and February 6, 1627: "Non posse." 

Cardinal Lambertini (Benedict XIV.) says, on this 
subject: " Attamen experientia compertum habemus, 
in errorem non semel eos adduci, qui Sacrarum Con- 
gregationum sententias usurpant; eos pariter plane 
novimus, qui in hoc negotio periti satis existimari de- 
bent. Quamobrem, cum tot annis, quibus Congrega- 
tionis Concilii secretarium egimus, nulla usquam nobis 
occurrerit sententia ex iis quae ab utraque parteferuntur, 
ut pateat an Sacerdoti, ad celebrandum unice addicto, 
liceat duplex stipendium percipere, pro celebratione 
atque applicatione, hanc quaestionem non diremptam 
rehnquemus, donee magis tuta monumenta deprehend- 
antur." Then he adds: " Neque enim res ita facilis ad 
judicandum videri potest; nam, pro Sacrificii applica 
tione obtinenda, satis est ut ipsius celebratio indicatur. 
Si quis autem se applications onere prorsus immunem 
esse contendat, apertissime docere debet, a pio testa- 
tore Missae celebrationem uriice requiri, et Sacerdotis 
arbitrio permitti ut fructum Sacrificii, cui libuerit attri- 

1 Mcrati, P. 3, tit. 12, n. 5. 

The Honorarium of Masses. 245 

buat." He moreover says that this is conformable to 
the decision rendered March 18, 1668, by the Congre 
gation, which he assures us has always followed the 
same opinion in like cases; namely, a chaplaincy has 
been founded by testament with the charge of cele 
brating Mass without any declaration in whose favor 
the Mass was to be applied. Having been consulted 
as to what was to be done, the Congregation answered: 
" Applicandum esse Sacrificium pro anima testatoris." 

Among the abuses that had to be remedied, the great 
est that ever prevailed (would to God it did not exist at 
the present day!) was the habit that certain priests had 
of accumulating Mass stipends without ever saying the 
Masses. Hence, by the decrees of Urban VIII. it was 
forbidden to receive new stipends before having dis 
charged those that had been received before. After 
wards, by an interpretation of this decree it was per 
mitted to receive new stipends "dummodo infra modi 
cum tempus posset omnibus satisfied;" and, finally, 
July 17, 1655, the Congregation of the Council added 
this other explanation: "Modicum tempus intelligi in 
fra mensem." l * 


Such are the measures adopted to correct the abuses 
that have arisen on account of the admission of hono- 
1 Benedict XIV., Instit. 56, n. 14. 

"In Missis autem pro defunctis, dilationem unius mensis merito 
gravem reputant Salmanticenses," etc. (Thcol. mor. 1. 6, n. 371). If, 
however, the person who requests a Mass, either for the living or for 
the dead, consents to a delay, the Mass may be deferred. 

We read, in the diocesan statutes of St. Alphonsus: " We recall to 
mind the grave obligation resting on all the priests not to defer the dis 
charge of the promised Masses beyond two months if these are Masses 
for the living, nor beyond one month if they are Masses for the dead; 
so that, in order to be excused from a grave fault, they should be dis 
charged within the time here indicated." ( Tantwia, 1. in. 22, Xotif. 4.) 

246 The Honorarium of Masses. 

raria; but this did not satisfy the zeal of our anonymous 
author, and he set to work to find out other means. 

He at first exposes the project of Peter Cantor, 1 accord 
ing to whom we should diminish the number of churches 
and priests so that there would be in every place only 
the absolutely necessary number of priests. But I do 
not know how this could be consistent with piety. 

Fie then gives the idea of John Gerson, who wished 
that all the priests should live by following some pro 
fession or honest trade, like St. Paul, without exacting 
any contribution for the Masses that they celebrate. 
Our anonymous author does not himself approve of 
this means. This is what he says: " It seems to me that 
this way is not very practicable; for, after all, all the 
priests have not the science and the lights, much less 
the zeal, of St. Paul; all cannot at the same time gain a 
living by the work of their hands and discharge the 
duties of an office that demands their whole attention. 
Application, study, and prayer are absolutely necessary 
for this formidable employment ; whoever desires to 
fulfil its duties as he should will have no time to spare. 
All traffic is forbidden to ecclesiastics by the holy Canons; 
St. Paul prohibited secular occupations as opposed to 
the recollection, the gravity, and the sanctity of their 
state: Nemo, militans Deo, implicat se negotiis saecu- 
laribus, ut ei placeat, cui se probavit. " Distraction 
and dissipation are obstacles to study and to prayer, 
both public and private. Add to all this the want of 
the means to perfect themselves and to be successful, 
the difficulty of finding a market for the work that they 
have done, and, finally, the little profit that they would 
make thereby. If the artisans of a village, and some 
times even those of cities, find it very difficult to derive 
from their work a simple and frugal living, what can be 
gained by a vicar or a country curate with his lathe, his 
brush, his spade, and the other tools of his trade ? It is 

1 Verb. abbr. c 2<\ - 2 Tim. ii. 4. 

The Honorarium of Masses. 247 

therefore impossible for a man occupied with the care 
of instructing himself and of instructing others to con 
tribute by his work to his own support. At most, this 
could be done by certain priests who are isolated and 
without occupation, or certain religious excluded from 
the discharge of priestly functions and but little engaged 
in study." 

Our author also indicates other different means devised 
by others, but even they do not satisfy him. He there 
fore arrives at this conclusion, that, in order to put an 
end to so many disorders, sacrileges, and abuses, the 
true and only means is to abolish " manual," or paid, 
Masses, as they call them. Consequently he offers the 
advice to resume the custom of olden times, when the 
bishop or one of the priests said Mass, and those that 
were present made their offerings, which served for the 
support of the priests, the churches, and the poor. 



We have now to examine whether the means pro 
posed by the author would be useful or hurtful to the 
welfare of the faithful. 

It is certain that private Masses are permitted, what 
ever may be said by the innovators of the sixteenth 
century who reject them according to their principle, 
namely, that in Mass not a true sacrifice is offered, 
because, according to them, it was instituted only in 
order that the faithful might receive Communion in 
the common Mass. Hence, they conclude that all the 
private Masses have been introduced only for their own 
private gains. But this subject has been treated against 
them at length by very grave authors, such as Cochleus, 
Cardinal Bellarmine, 1 Estius, 2 Cardinal Bona, 3 Sylvius, 4 
and Father Berti. 5 

1 De Euch. 1. 6, c. 9. 2 In 4 Sent. cl. 12, 17 et 18. 

3 DC Rebus lit. i. c. 14. 4 /;/ p. 3, q. 83, a. 5. 
8 De Theol. Dis. \. 33, c. 21. 

248 The Honorarium of Masses. 

And, in fact, nothing authorizes any one to say that 
private Masses are unlawful; for there was never a law 
of the Church ordaining that Mass should be celebrated 
only in public. On the contrary, ecclesiastical history 
shows us that many saints, even in the first ages, had the 
custom of celebrating private Masses. The Acts of Pope 
St. Marcellus inform us that he celebrated-Mass in the 
house of St. Lucina. St. Gregory of Nazianzen 1 relates 
that St. Gregory, Bishop of Nazianzen, and his father 
privately celebrated Mass in his room. St. Ambrose 
also said Mass in a house in Rome, beyond the Tiber, as 
is related by Paulinus of Milan. 2 Uranius 3 attests that 
St. Paulinus of Nola celebrated Mass, a few hours before 
his death, on an altar prepared before his bed. Philos- 
torgius 4 relates that St. Lucian, martyr, covered with 
wounds, and dying, having no altar, said Mass on his own 
breast. We read in St. Gregory the Great, that Cassius 
of Narni celebrated Mass every day, although he had 
no one present at it. Dom Mabillon 6 proves that St. 
Goar, anchorite, St. Germer, and Licinius, Bishop of 
Angers, as well as many others in the sixth and seventh 
centuries celebrated Mass every day; and thus there 
were said at that time many private Masses. 

Cardinal Bona, 7 in like manner, shows that even in 
olden times a great number of Masses was celebrated 
every day. In the Justinian Code 8 we read that, under 
the Emperors Honorius and Theodosius junior, the 
Church of Constantinople counted nine hundred and 
fifty priests who were called Decani. Moreover, at the 
beginning of the Church it was customary to ordain 
other priests besides curates. Now, these priests would 
have been useless if it had been obligatory to say only 

1 Orat. in laud, patris. 2 Vit. S. Ambr. n. 10. 

3 DC Obitu .V. Paul. 4 Hist. 1. 2, n. 13. 

5 In E-vang. horn. 37. Prrcf. in sac. 2 ben. n. 36. 

7 DC Rfbtts lit. 1. i, c. 14 et 18. g De Sacr. Ecd. I. Non phtres. 

The Honorarium of Masses. 249 

one public Mass which was celebrated only by the 
curates. We must add what we read in Allacci/ namely, 
that the Greeks, as well as the Latins, often celebrated 
Mass in private, without there being any one to receive 
Communion during its celebration. 

The innovators object that Jesus Christ, after having 
celebrated the Last Supper, said: Hoc facite in mcamcom- 
mcmorationem. This means, according to them, that the 
priests should celebrate as Jesus Christ did, by distrib 
uting Communion. We reply to them that the words 
Hoc facite have reference to the substance, and that the 
substance of the Mass consists only in offering the Sac 
rifice, in not refusing Communion to him who asks for 
it, provided he be not unworthy. 

They object, besides, that the Apostle calls the Mass 
Participatio Corporis Domini Dominicam ca>nam mandu- 
care? But all that we may infer from these texts is that 
it is not forbidden to refuse the Sacrament of the Altar 
to any one that desires to participate in it. Moreover, we 
know that even when no one communicates at Mass the 
priest always uses these words: Ut quotquot ex hac altaris 
participation, etc.; for it is sufficient that several partici 
pate in it, if not really, at least spiritually; whence we 
also draw this conclusion, that, by virtue of the general 
fruit in which all the faithful in the state of grace par 
ticipate, every Mass is a public sacrifice. 

Here is what the Emperor Charles V. and the other 
Catholic princes have said on the subject of the article 
of the Confession of Augsburg, in which private Masses 
were interdicted: Hac enim abrogation* Missarum, ciiltus 
Dei minuitiir, Sanctis snbtrahitnr honor, ultima roluntas de- 
functor urn corruit, debitis defuncti spoliantur suffragiis et vi- 
vornm devotio aufertiir aut frigescit? 

1 DC EC -1. occ. aft/in- or. Cons. 1. 3, c. 15. i Cor. x. 16- xi. 20 
3 Berti, De Theol. Dis. 1. 33, c. 21. 

250 The Honorarium of Masses. 


While speaking of " paid " Masses, that is to say, 
Masses that are applied, not gratuitously, but in consid 
eration of stipends given, the anonymous author says 
that during eleven centuries they were not in use in the 
Church, because only Masses with offerings were cele 
brated. At the same time, he assures us, as a certain 
thing, that the celebration of the Mass with unleavened 
bread began only about the ninth century, and that 
before this epoch Mass had always been celebrated with 
leavened bread. 

I find, however, that many trustworthy authors are 
actuated by strong arguments to regard it as probable 
that during the first six centuries Mass was said, without 
distinction, either with unleavened or with leavened 
bread; and even Juvenin expressly says: i. Per sex 
priora sacula, Latinos fermentatum et azymum indiffercnter 
consecrassc. 2. Circa septimum, aliquas ecclesias occidentals 
adhibcre ccepisse solum azymum. 3. Illarum ecclcsiarum 
usum alias occidentales, ante nonum sceculum, ubique ample ocas 

We read, in Tournely, 2 that St. Thomas, Alexander of 
Hales, and other ancient scholastics were of opinion 
that in the first ages the Greek and the Latin Church 
always celebrated Mass with unleavened bread. This is 
what the heretic Elbion himself did, wishing to unite the 
observances of the Old Law with those of the New Law. 
Tournely says that formerly there were other opinions 
that have not been sustained in the schools. He adds 
that at the present time there are three celebrated 
opinions on this subject, namely: 

The first opinion is that of James Sirmond. He says 
that the Latin Church employed leavened bread during 

1 Jnstit. p. S, d. 4, q. i , c. 2, a. I, 2. 2 Prccl. dc Euch, q. 4, a. 5. 

The Honorarium of Classes. 251 

more than eight centuries, but that between 887 and 
1054 she began to use unleavened bread. 

The second opinion is that of Mabillon and of Lupus, 
who say that since the time of the apostles the Latin 
Church has always used unleavened bread. The same 
opinion is held by Cardinal Humbert, Abbot Rupert, 
James of Vitrai, Innocent III., and other authors. 

The third opinion is that of Cardinal Bona. Accord 
ing to him, the Greeks always employed leavened bread, 
but the Latins in the first ages admitted now one, now 
the other, according to the circumstances of times and 
places. It was not before the tenth century that the 
use of unleavened bread became common in the Latin 

From all these authorities, joined to other documents, 
Tournely concludes that one may probably say that in 
the first ages the Greeks also used unleavened bread, 
according to the opinion of St. Thomas; and that the 
Latins till the ninth century employed, indifferently, 
unleavened and leavened bread. Hence, from the vari 
ous opinions of so many learned authors it follows that 
the quoted opinions on this so much discussed question 
are all uncertain. 


As to the origin of Masses said on account of stipends 
paid, I find that this custom dates from several centuries 
before the eleventh. Cardinal Bona 2 writes that, from 
the time of Peter Damian, " paid " Masses were begun to 
be said, the faithful believing that by having Mass said 
specially for themselves they would derive a particular 
advantage; and then the custom of making offerings at 
the common Masses was discontinued. We also know, 
from history, that in the middle of the eighth century 

1 Something about this question has already been said at n. i. 
3 >c Rebus lit. 1. 2, c. 8. 

252 The Honorarium of Masses. 

St. Chrodegang, Bishop of Metz, who is regarded as the 
restorer of the common life among clerics, permitted, 
his priests to receive and to employ, each one for himself, 
what was offered to him for his own Mass. Mabillon 1 
says that this custom became general about the twelfth 
century. Moreover, we read, in Thomassinus, that, from 
the time of Pepin and Charlemagne, Masses were said 
for stipends: " Pipini et Caroli Magni aevo, jam cceper- 
ant fideles singuli suam privatim presbytero cuipiam 
stipem erogare, ut ejus Sacrificii exuberantem fructum 
in se derivarent, in proximos, in amicos, vitae compotes 
adhuc vel defunctos." 2 Besides, Cardinal Lambertini 3 
quotes Father Francis Berlendi, a Theatine, who, in his 
learned dissertation on the offerings at the altar, asserts 
that the use of these honoraria reaches farther back 
than the eighth century. 


The anonymous author says: "It is temerity to affirm 
that a Mass said for one person cannot also be applied 
and be profitable to all." His authority for this state 
ment is Gerson, 4 whose opinion he gives in the following 
words: "Gerson does not hesitate to assure us that a 
church that is accustomed to satisfy by a single Mass 
for several anniversaries may continue without needing 
the consent of those that have founded them." As far as 
I am concerned, I do not understand how this doctrine 
of Gerson can be approved by others; nor do I under 
stand in what the " temerity" consists, of him who says 
that the Mass applied to any one in particular is more 
profitable to him than to others. 

The anonymous author speaks according to the opinion 
that fruit of the Mass is of an infinite value; yet it is the 

1 Pra<f. in part. I, saec. 3, ben. n. 62. 

- DC Ea-l. Disc. p. 3, 1. I, c. 71. 

3 Benedict XIV. Inst. 56, n. I. 4 DC Sollic. Eat. p. 36. 

The Honorarium of Masses. 253 

opinion that is held by Cajetan, 1 Melchior Can us, 2 and 

others. Nevertheless, the contrary opinion is more 

common: it is that of St. Thomas, y of St. Bonaventure, 4 

of Scotus, 5 of Suarez," of Dominic Sotus. 7 The same 

doctrine is taught by Bellarmine, 8 Gabriel, 9 Durandus, 10 

Major, 11 and other theologians. The latter say that the 

value of the Sacrifice that has reference to the Victim 

offered is one thing, and another thing is the effect of 

the Sacrifice; which effect belongs, not to the sufficiency 

of the Sacrifice, but to the efficacy that Jesus Christ has 

wished to give to it by limiting it according to his own 

This is what Father Natalis Alexander seems to 

hold for certain, since he expressly says, in speaking of 

the holy Sacrifice: Non aeque prodest singulis, ac si 

pro uno solum offerretur. Virtus enim illius, secundum 

hanc rationem spectata, finita est; quod autem est fini- 

tum, si dividatur inter plures, non ceque prodest singulis, 

ac si uni tantum applicaretur." Cardinal Bona says 

that the common opinion is that the fructiis mcdiits, or 

special fruit, of which we speak, is not extensively infi- 

" De hoc fructu medio, communis sententia est non 

esse infinitum extensive." 13 

Dominic Sotus, speaking of the contrary opinion, 
writes that he has always regarded it not only as false, 
but also as opposed to the very ancient practice of the 
Church: "Semper sum arbitratus, non solum falsam 
esse, verum antiquissimo Ecclesia; usui contrariam." M 
We read the same thing in Du Hamel, who says of the 
Mass: " Vim habet bona impetrandi, pro quibus offertur;" 

I ^ P. 3, q- 79. a. 5. 2 De Loc ///<w> } ^ c ^ 

3 In 4 Sent. d. 45, q. 2> a. 4. 4 / 4 ScnL d> ^ a ^ q ^ 
5 0.*><Mt> 20. < DC Sacram. p. I, d. 79, s. n. 

7 Dejmt. 1. 9, q. 2, a. 2. 8 D( , Enc/ ^ } ^ c> ^ pf _ ^ 

9 Can. Miss. Expos, bet. 27. 10 In 4 Sent d 45> q ^ 

II In 4 Sent. d. 45, q. 2. 1* De E uch. c. 6, a. 6, pr. i. 

13 DC Sacrif. M. tr. asc. c. I, 4. u D ejnst. 1. 9, q. 2 , a 2 


The Honorarium of Masses. 

and then: " Id probat perpetims Ecclesiae usus." He 
adds that, although the Mass is of an infinite value in 
view of the dignity of the Victim offered, yet our Lord has 
wished that the effect of it should be finite, according to 
his own will; and this for several reasons, but especially 
for this: " Ut, per reiteratas oblationes, frequentius re- 
coleremus memoriam mortis quam pro nobis passus est 
in cruce." Tournely expresses the same thought in 
these terms: " Studium, laborem, ac vigilantiam nostram, 
hac ratione Deus excitare voluit, nempe, ut, pro men- 
sura nostrce pietatis ac religionis, majorem vel minorem 
Sacrificii fructum perciperemus." In support of what 
he says, he quotes the doctrine of St. Thomas: " Ouamvis 
hsec oblatio, ex sui quantitate, sufficiat ad satisfaciendum 
pro omni pcena, tamen fit satisfactoria illis pro quibus 
offertur, vel etiam offerentibus, secundum quantitatem 
suae devotionis, et non pro tota pcena." 

It is useless to say that the Sacrifice of the Mass is 
the same as that of the Cross, from which it differs only 
in the manner in which it is offered, as the Council of 
Trent teaches; hence, both being of an infinite value, a 
single Mass produces as much good as ten. We answer 
that the Sacrifice of the Cross had for its object to sat 
isfy for the sins of men, and that this satisfaction, having 
been accomplished, it is not necessary to repeat it; but 
the Sacrifice of the Mass has for its object, not to bring 
about this satisfaction, but to apply the Sacrifice of the 
Cross; that is, to apply its fruit which we receive every 
time we renew the Sacrifice. 3 

1 Theol. spec, dc Ench. 1. 3, d. 2, c. 5. - P. 3, q. 79, a. 5. 

3 St. Alphonsus has treated this question somewhat differently in his 
Moral Theology (1. 6. n. 312), printed in 1753; but in his defence ol 
Catholic dogmas defined by the Council of Trent (Sess. xxii. n. 22), a 
work published in 1769, he speaks of it as in the present opuscule, which 
appeared a little before. 

The Honorarium of Masses. 255 


It cannot be called in question that the custom of 
applying Masses to those that have them celebrated in 
order that they may profit by them in a special manner 
is approved by the Church, according to Cardinal Lam- 
bertini, 1 who says: " Stipendium, quod, ex communi 
Ecclesiae disciplina, Sacerdotibus traditur pro compa- 
rando fructu medio Sacrificii." It is for this reason 
that in the Missal there are found votive Masses for cer 
tain persons in particular, such as for a bishop, for a 
sick person, for a person deceased. The Council of 
Constance condemned, among others, this proposition of 
Wycliffe: " Speciales orationes, applicatae uni persona? 
per praelatos vel religiosos, non plus prosunt eidem, quam 
generales, cseteris paribus." 2 Moreover, the Council of 
Trent 3 ordains that, in reducing the number of Masses, 
there remains the obligation of always making a special 
memento for old benefactors; hence, according to the 
Council, this memento is of greater profit to the bene 
factors than a general application. 

The anonymous author says that the Eucharist, be 
longing to charity, and containing in itself the object 
of charity, which is Jesus Christ, the suffrages offered 
through charity in Mass are as profitable to all as to one; 
and to prove this he thus quotes St. Thomas: "Si valor 
suffragiorum consideretur secundum quod valent ex 
virtute charitatis unientis membra Ecclesiaj, suffragia 
pro multis facta tantum singulis prosunt, ac si pro uno 
tantum fierent." Now, he himself adds, in the same 
place, that the holy Doctor afterwards writes that this 
kind of satisfaction offered for the dead, with the inten 
tion of helping some of them more than others, because 

1 Benedict XIV. Instit. 56, n. i. ; gess. viii. 

3 Sess. xxv. de R. f. cap. iv. * Sufpl. ad p. 3, q. 71, a . 13. 

256 The Honorarium of Masses. 

of such an intention profits more those for whom it is 
offered than others; and he quotes the following words 
of St. Thomas: " Tune magis valet suffragium alicui, 
quod pro eo singulariter fit, quam quod fit pro eo com- 
muniter et multis aliis." But this reasoning of the 
angelic Doctor does not please our author; he claims 
that it will always be difficult, not to say impossible, to 
determine what amount of fruit may be derived by the 
individual. And yet St. Thomas says: "Tune magis 
valet suffragium alicui, quod pro eo singulariter fit, 
quam quod fit pro eo communiter et multis aliis." At 
least, St. Thomas having written this, it cannot be looked 
upon as " temerity," as our author calls it, to say that a 
Mass applied to any one in particular does not equally 
profit others. 

We must add what has been said on this point at the 
Council of Lambeth, namely: " Absit enim ne a quo- 
quam catholico credatur, tantum intentione prodesse 
Missam unam devote celebratam mille hominibus, pro 
quibus forsan dicitur, quantum si mille Missoe pro eis 
devotione simili canerentur." 1 This is what I read in 
the anonymous author himself; and he answers that this 
is a metaphysical distinction that he does not find in 
other Councils. But if he does not find this distinction, 
one must not conclude that it is false. If he does not 
find it expressed, he will find it at least indicated: cer 
tainly he will not find any Council that says the con 
trary, namely, that a single Mass, applied to any one, is 
worth to him as much as a thousand; for this is offen 
sive to the common sense of the faithful. 

The following is the conclusion that Father Collet, the 
continuator of Tournely, speaking of the honorarium of 
Masses, draws from all that has been said on the subject: 
" Citra summam temeritatem, aut quid temeritate pe- 
jus, culpari non potest, quod tota per orbem frequentat 

1 Anno I2oi, cap. 2, 

The Honorarium of Masses. 257 

Ecclesia." He adds that the faculty of Paris, in 1521, 
condemned six propositions that were directed against 
Mass stipends. 

Cardinal Lambertini ! also says that it is temerity to 
condemn the practice of giving stipends for Masses. 
This is what he says: " Satis erit innuere receptam ah 
universa Ecclesia consuetudinem ut pro Sacro dentur 
et accipiantur stipendia, cum ex altari vitae sustenta- 
tionem merito desumere minister altaris debeat; ideoque 
non sine imprudentia mos ejusmodi damnari potest." 
Yet this is what our anonymous author seems to wish 
to condemn. Fie says that the text of St. Paul " Oui 
altari deserviunt, cum altari participant" should not 
be understood of stipends given for Masses to be said 
for individuals. But it is thus that Gerson understands 
it; for he says: u Sufficere clebet, ad consensum hujus 
veritatis, usus totius communis Ecclesiae qui sic habet 
et recipit; cui si quis detrahit, imprudenter se decipit. 
Nihil rcquius secundum legem esse deducit Apostolus, 
quam, qui altari deservit, de altari vivat." 3 The same 
is taught by St. Thomas, as we shall see further on, and 
by all theologians. 

It is not true that all the contracts that are made in 
regard to Mass stipends are illicit, simoniacal, or shame 
ful, as is said by our anonymous author. As a proof of 
what he advances, he quotes the following text of the 
Council of Trent: " Quod ad avaritiam pertinet, cujusvis 
generis mercedum conditiones, pacta, et quidquid pro 
Missis novis celebrandis datur, necnon importunas 
atque illiberales eleemosynarum exactiones potius quam 
postulationes, aliaque hujusmodi, quae a simoniaca labe, 
vel certe a turpi quoestu, non longe absunt, omnino pro- 

1 Benedict X/T. Instit. 56, n. 4. 

* I Cor. \\. 13. DC Sollic. tccL p. 19. 

258 The Honorarium of Masses. 

hibeant (Episcopi)." He thence concludes that all the 
Mass stipends about which a contract is made are simon- 
iacal or tainted with filthy lucre, We must, however, 
carefully consider the words that are quoted. The 
Council at first says: "Quod ad avaritiam pertinet, 
cujusvis generis mercedum conditiones, pacta. . . ." 
The Council wishes, therefore, that one should prohibit 
all conditions and contracts that are related to avarice 
Now, avarice is a sin against justice. We distinguish a 
covetous man from one that is avaricious: the covetous 
man is one that always desires to amass riches; the 
avaricious is one that wishes to take what does not be 
long to him; hence all contracts and all conditions that 
relate to avarice, that are unjust, are forbidden to us. As 
to the words, " Et quidquid pro Missis novis celebrandis 
datur." To understand this passage, we must know 
that it was doubted whether a newly-ordained priest 
could receive offerings for his first Mass; the Sacred 
Congregation decided, as we have seen above, 2 that it 
could be done, but without going about in the church 
to collect the offerings. The Council finally says : " Nec- 
non importunas atque illiberales eleemosynarum exacti- 
ones potius quam postulationes, aliaque hujusmodi, quae 
a simoniaca labe vel a turpi quaestu non longe absunt." 
Simoniacal or shameful are therefore only those sums of 
money that are obtained through importunate means, 
but not those that are given freely and spontaneously. 

Let us note the following words of Cardinal Lamber- 
tini [Benedict XIV.]: " Every priest should have before 
his mind this maxim that the honorarium of the Mass is 
not the price of the consecration of the Eucharist, but a 
means of subsistence conformably to the doctrine of 
St. Thomas." This is what St. Thomas teaches: " Dis- 
pensantur autem Sacramenta per Ecclesiae ministros, 
quos oportet a populo sustentari, secundum illud: 

1 Scss. xxii. DC obs. in celcbr. AI. - Page 243 

The Honorarium of Masses 259 

Nescitis quoniam, qui in sacrario operantur, qua? de 
sacrario sunt, edunt; et qui altari deserviunt, cum altari 
participant? Sic ergo dicendum est quod, accipere 
pecuniam pro spirituali Sacramentorum gratia, est 
crimen simoniae; accipere autem aliqua ad sustentatio- 
nem eorum qui Sacramenta Christi ministrant, secundum 
ordinationem Ecclesise et consuetudines approbatas, non 
est simonia, neque peccatum; non enim sumitur tam- 
quam pretium mercedis, sed tamquam stipendium neces- 
sitatis." We find quoted in the same place these words 
of St. Augustine: " Accipiant sustentationem neces- 
sitatis." 2 Speaking specially of the honorarium of the 
Mass, St. Thomas adds: " Sacerdos non accipit pecuniam 
quasi pretium consecrationis Eucharistiae, aut Missae 
decantandae, hoc enim esset simoniacum, sed quasi sti 
pendium suae sustentationis." : 

In the following article, the angelic Doctor gives the 
reason of \hishonorarium, and says: " Oportet Sacerdotes 
a populo sustentari, cui spiritualia administrant, secun 
dum illud: * Ouis militat suis stipendiis unquam ? . . . 
Ouis pascit gregem, et de lacte gregis non manducat ? * 
Et ideo, vendere quod spirituale est, in hujusmodi acti- 
bus, aut emere, simoniacum est; sed accipere aut dare 
aliquicf pro sustentatione ministrantium spiritualia, 
secundum ordinationem Ecclesiae et consuetudinem 
approbatam, licitum est; ita tamen quod desit intentio 
emptionis vel venditionis, et quod ab invitis non ex- 
igatur, per spiritualium subtractionem, quae sunt ex- 

He, moreover, says in speaking of contracts: " Facere 
pactionetn de Missa celebranda, est simoniacum. . . ." 
But he adds: " Si tamen non habet alios sumptus, et 
non tenetur ex officvo Missam cantare, potest accipere 
dcnarios, sicut conducti Sacerdotes faciunt, non quasi 

1 i Cor. ix. 13. - St -nn. 46, r. 2, K. />. 

3 2, 2, q. loo, a. 2. 4 i Ccr. ix. 7. 

260 The Honorarium of Masses. 

pretium Missae, sed quasi sustentamentum vitse." 
Hence those that make themselves guilty of simony are 
only those priests who, already provided by the Church 
with an income, with the obligation by virtue of their 
office to celebrate Mass or to administer the sacraments, 
still exact another salary; but those that are not bound 
by such a charge can ask for a honorarium to say Mass, 
not as the price of the Sacrifice, but as a means of sub 
sistence. Such is the answer given by Tournely to 
those that say: "Omnis pactio in rebus sacris repro- 
banda est, quoe veram redolet simoniam, in qua spirit- 
uale pro temporali datur." He answers them in the 
words of St. Thomas: " Stipendium non datur tamquam 
pretium operis, sed tamquam sustentatio operands."" 


The Masses said for honoraria or stipends are, there 
fore, certainly allowed, and they are even approved by 
the practice of the universal Church, being exempt from 
every reproach of simony and of filthy lucre, when the 
contributions are given altogether spontaneously, as we 
have above demonstrated in accordance with the opinion 
of St. Thomas, Gerson, Juvenin, Tournely, Thomassinus, 
Lambertini (Benedict XIV.), Bellarmine, and others. 
As for the plan of the anonymous author who wishes to 
abolish them and to re-establish the use of public Masses 
with the common offerings of the faithful, it seems that, 
under the present circumstances, such a thing would be 
more hurtful than useful. 

Thomassinus 3 says, that if it were re-established ac 
cording as the anonymous proposes, one should see in 
the Church disorders and injuries more grave than the 

1 In 4 Sent. d. 25, q. 3, a. 2. 

2 Pra-l. dc Ench. q. 8, a. 10, de Honor. 

3 Eccl. Disc. p. 3, 1. i, c. 72, n. 5. 

The Honorarium of Masses. 261 

abuses that my opponent points out. In fact, now that 
the ancient charity has ceased, as well as the ancient 
necessity to support the churches, which have been suit 
ably provided by the^faithful, it is certain that if the use 
of honorarium were suppressed, one would not see the 
ancient offerings revive; and then to what would the 
large number of priest be reduced who now live on the 
stipends that they receive for Masses ! What em 
ployments, what ignoble trades would they be forced 
to adopt in order to make a living! What scandals and 
what disorders would be the result! 

Even the censor of the anonymous book, while praising 
it, does not admit of the efficacy of the means proposed. 
But this practice," he says on the subject of public 
Masses with offerings, " is very difficult to re-establish, 
and would not be a sufficient means to support so many 
curates, priests, secular and regular." 


The best means, after all, of remedying the abuses 
resulting from " paid " Masses seems to be that indicat 
ed by St. Thomas, namely, that the bishops should 
strictly observe what is prescribed by the Council of 
Trent of admitting to Holy Orders all those clerics that 
have a real intention of devoting themselves to the ser 
vice of God; of not procuring for themselves, by means 
of Holy Orders, earthly honors and comforts in order to 
live more at their ease. St. Thomas says: "Accurate 
investigandum num, videlicet, Dei causa tantum, aut 
potius suae commoditatis gratia, ad Ordines capessendos 
aspirent, quserentes quae suasunt, non quae Jesu Christi, 
lucris inhiantes, et honores ab hominibus expetentes; 
quisquis talis est, nee Dei films, nee ovilis Christi ido- 
neus pastor futurus, sed mercenarius est." 

Thereupon, however, the anonymous author asks how 

262 The Honorarium of Masses. 

the bishop can assure himself of this good intention of 
his subjects; and, supposing that he is certain of it for 
the moment, he cannot assure himself of their perse 
verance. " Thus," he concludes, < it is impossible not 
to be deceived on this point." We should therefore, in 
future, I say to him in reply, never more ordain priests; 
since one has no certainty of their good intention, and 
much less of their perseverance! But every one knows 
that on this earth of ours, in which we walk in darkness, 
men can act only in a human way; one cannot obtain a 
physical certainty of their good intention, but one may 
have a moral certainty. This is sufficient to quiet the 
consciences of bishops; the same holds good as to per 

It has not been denied, nor is it denied, that with the 
increase of "paid" Masses many abuses have crept in; 
but it must be considered that, in all that men do, in 
all their functions, in the magistracy as well as in com 
merce, whatever may be the integrity of the laws that 
govern them, abuses have always in the course of time 
been introduced. Human malice has rendered them in 
evitable. It is seen that even the holiest things are 
often subject to abuses; still they are none the less holy. 
We should therefore try as much as possible to hinder 
the evil, but not to abolish the thing itself. St. Augus 
tine observes that in every state, in every condition of 
life, there are good and bad Christians, good and bad 
religious; there are such, and there will always be such 


Something still remains to be said about privileged 
altars, in reference to which the anonymous author does 
wrong to speak contemptuously; for, in treating of the 
abuses that are committed on the subject of honoraria, 
he says: " There are those that wish Masses to be said on 
a privileged altar, as if the source of graces flowed there 
from more abundantly." 

The Honorarium of Masses. 263 

We answer that the abundance of graces does not 
proceed from this altar, but from the concession of the 
Sovereign Pontiff, who, by virtue of the supreme power 
that Jesus Christ has given to the universal Church, as 
the Council of Trent has declared in these words: " Pro 
suprema potestate sibi in Ecclesia universal! tradita," 
may apply, to the souls for whose benefit the Mass is 
celebrated, a part of the treasure of merit of Jesus 
Christ and of the saints, as much as is necessary to 
efface their faults. Let us hear what the learned Car 
dinal Lambertini 2 says about this in his work that we 
have quoted several times. He thus expresses himself: 
"Certum et commune est apud theologos, indulgentias 
defunctis prodesse, non tamquam ex potestate judiciaria, 
uti contingit cum indulgentiae degentibus adhuc inter 
vivos conceduntur, sed per modum suffragii, quemadmo- 
duin Gabriel Biel fuse demonstrat. Hoc fundamento 
innititur Summus Pontifex, cum privilegiatas aras de- 
clarat, ac pro Missae celebratione, quae in illis indicitur 
ad expiandam defuncti alicujus animam, Thesauri Ec- 
ciesiastici earn partem attribuit per modum suffragii, 
quae satis est ut eadem anima, si Deo placitum sic fuerit, 
e purgatorii cruciatibus eripiatur, uti Gregorius XIII. 
explicat, cum privilegiatum altare metropolitanae nostrae 
Sancti Petri largitus est: Earn a pcenis purgatorii, quan 
tum divinae bonitati placuerit, per modum suffragii libe- 
rare possit. " Bellarmine observes that, from the time 
of Paschal I., who reigned from 817 to 824, concessions 
of this kind in reference to privileged altars were already 
in use: " Pascalis I.," he says, " indulgentiam ita conces- 
sit, ut, qui, pro anima alicujus particularis personae de- 
functae, tot Missas celebraverit in capella Sancti Zenonis, 
quae est in Ecclesia Sanctae Praxedis, animam illam pur 
gatorii pcenis eripiat." : 

Cardinal Lambertini (Benedict XIV.) adds, in regard 

1 .SV.v.v. XIV. rap. VII. - /?<//, v//V/ AYT., fust. 56, n. 15. 

* Delndulg. 1. I.e. 14. 

264 The Honorarium of Masses. 

to privileged altars, several things worthy of note. He 
relates that under Clement XI. a Congregation of Car 
dinals established the rule to grant the favor of the 
privileged altar once a week only to the churches 
where there would be every day at least five fixed 
Masses; twice for those where there would be ten 
Masses; and three times for those where there would be 
fifteen. It, however, ordained that, in order to enjoy the 
daily indulgence of the privileged altar, forty Masses 
would be necessary every day. Innocent XII., on the 
advice given, June 5, 1694, by the Congregation of the 
Council, had before decreed that the Masses, the num 
ber of which is thus determined in order to enjoy the 
privilege, should be celebrated every day: " Celebra- 
tionem Missarum Indultis praefinitarum omnino neces- 
sariam esse singulis diebus in eadem ecclesia." Under 
Clement XL, July 30, 1706, the Sacred Congregation de 
cided that the indulgences of the privileged altar are sus 
pended when the number of Masses requisite is not said 
on account of the absence of the religious sent to preach 
during Advent or Lent, but not, "quando occasione 
festivitatum, vel funerum, aut sirnilium, ad celebrandum 
alibi transmittuntur, dummodo raro contingat;" nor are 
they suspended in case of the sickness of the priests, 
regular or secular, who are charged with the celebration 
of the Masses. 1 

1 "Clemens XIII., praevio voto Sacrse Congregationis Indulgentia- 
rum, die 19 Mali, 1759, indulsit omnibus ecclesiis parochialibus altare 
privilegiatum quotidianum ad septennium; quo expleto, praecepit om 
nibus Episcopis, Abbatibus, Vicariisque, Capitularibus, pro suis paroeciis, 
confinnationem ejusdem privilegii ad septennium petere." (T/ieol. 
nior, 1. 6, n. 339.) 

To gain the indulgence of the privileged altar, Mass must be said in 
black on all the days on which this color is permitted; when it is not 
permitted, the Mass of the day is said. (S. C. Jnd. n Apr., 1840, et 
ii Mart., 1851.) 

preparation for lUass anb ftljanksgiuing after it. 



We here put in the first place the prayers that our 
Holy Mother the Church herself gives us in the Missal 
To these prayers we join prayers to which indulgences 
are attached. ED. 

{hxeparatio afo Ittissam 



NE reminiscaris, Domine, delicta nostra vel parentum 
nostrorum, neque vindictam sumas de peccatis nostris. 

Qua Antiphona in Fcslis duplicibus tantum duplicatur; ct Tempore 
Pasc/iali, addilur in fine: Alleluia. Dcinde dicuntur sequcntes Psalmi. 

Psalmus 83. 

Guam dilecta tabernacula tua, Domine virtutum:* 
concupiscit et deficit anima mea in atria Domini. 

Cor meum et caro mea* exultaverunt in Deum vivum. 

Etenim passer invenit sibi domum:* et turtur nidum 
sibi, ubi ponat pullos suos. 

Altaria tua, Domine virtutum: * Rex meus et Deus 

Beati qui habitant in domo tua, Domine: * in saecula 
saeculorum laudabunt te. 

Beatus vir, cujus est auxilium abs te: * ascensiones in 
corde suo disposuit, in valle lacrymarum, in loco quern 

Etenim benedictionem dabit legislator, ibunt de vir- 
tute in virtutem: * videbitur Deus deorum in Sion. 

Domine Deus virtutum, exaudi orationem meam:* 
auribus percipe, Deus Jacob. 

Protector noster aspice Deus: * et respice in faciem 
Christi tui. 

Ouia melior est dies una in atriis tuis * super millia. 

Elegi abjectus esse in domo Dei mei, * magis quam 
habitare in tabernaculis peccatorum. 

268 Preparation for Mass. 

Quia misericordiam et veritatem diligit Deus:*gra- 
tiam et gloriam dabit Dominus. 

Non privabit bonis eos, qui ambulant in innocentia: * 
Domine virtutum, beatus homo qui sperat in te. 

Gloria Patri. 

Psalmus 84. 

Benedixisti, Domine, terram tuam: * avertisti captivi- 
tatem Jacob. 

Remisisti iniquitatem plebis tuae: * operuisti omnia 
peccato eorum. 

Mitigasti omnem iram tuam: * avertisti ab ira indig- 
nationis tuae. 

Converte nos, Deus salutaris noster: * et averte iram 
tuam a nobis. 

Numquid in aeternum irasceris nobis ?* aut extendes 
iram tuam a generatione in generationem ? 

Deus, tu conversus vivificabis nos: * et plebs tua laeta- 
bitur in te. 

Ostende nobis, Domine, misericordiam tuam: * et salu- 
tare tuum da nobis. 

Audiam quid loquatur in me Dominus Deus: * quo- 
niam loquetur pacem in plebem suam. 

Et super Sanctos suos, * et in eos qui convertuntur ad 

Verumtamen prope timentes eum salutare ipsius: * ut 
inhabitet gloria in terra nostra. 

Misericordia et veritas obviaverunt sibi: * justitia et 
pax osculatae sunt. 

Veritas de terra orta est: * et justitia de ccelo pros- 

Etenim Dominus dabit benignitatem: * et terra nostra 
dabit fructum suum. 

Justitia ante eum ambulabit: * et ponet in via gressus 

Gloria Patri. 

Prayers of the Missal. 269 

Psalmus 85. 

Inclina, Domine, aurem tuam, et exaudi me:*quo- 
niam inops et pauper sum ego. 

Custodi animam meam, quoniam sanctus sum:*sal- 
vum fac servum tuum, Deus meus, sperantem in te. 

Miserere mei, Domine, quoniam ad te clamavi tota 
die: * laetifica animam servi tui, quoniam ad te, Domine, 
animam meam levavi. 

Quoniam tu, Domine, suavis et mitis: * et multae mi- 
sericordiae omnibus invocantibus te. 

Auribus percipe, Domine, orationem meam, * et in- 
tende voci deprecationis meae. 

In die tribulationis mese clamavi ad te: * quia exau- 
disti me. 

Non est similis tui in diis, Domine: * et non est secun- 
dum opera tua. 

Omnes gentes quascumque fecisti venient et adora- 
bunt coram te, Domine: * et glorificabunt nomen tuum. 

Quoniam magnus es tu et faciens mirabilia: * tu es 
Deus solus. 

Deduc me, Domine, in via tua, et ingrediar in veritate 
tua: * laetetur cor meum, ut timeat nomen tuum. 

Confitebor tibi, Domine Deus meus, in toto corde 
meo, * et glorificabo nomen tuum in aeternum. 

Quia misericordia tua magna est super me: * et eruisti 
animam meam ex inferno inferiori. 

Deus, iniqui insurrexerunt super me, et synagoga 
potentium quaesierunt animam meam:*et non propo- 
suerunt te in conspectu suo. 

Et tu, Domine Deus, miserator et misericors, * patiens, 
et multse misericordiae, et verax. 

Respice in me, et miserere mei:* da imperium tuum 
puero tup, et salvum fac filium ancillae tuae. 

Fac mecum signum in bonum, ut videant qui oderunt 
me, et confundantur: * quoniam tu, Domine, adjuvisti 
me, et consolatus es me. 

Gloria Patri. 

2 jo Preparation for Mass. 

Psalmus 115. 

Credidi, propter quod locutus sum: * ego autem humi- 
liatus sum nimis. 

Ego dixi in excessu meo: * Omnis homo mendax. 

Quid retribuam Domino * pro omnibus quae retribuit 
mihi ? 

Calicem salutaris accipiam, * et nomen Domini invo- 

Vota mea Domino reddam coram omni populo ejus: * 
pretiosa in conspectu Domini mors Sanctorum ejus. 

O Domine, quia ego servus tuus: * ego servus tuus, et 
filius ancillae tuae. 

Dirupisti vincula mea: * tibi sacrificabo hostiam lau- 
dis, et nomen Domini invocabo. 

Vota mea Domino reddam in conspectu omnis populi 
ejus: * in atriis domus Domini, in medio tui Jerusalem. 

Gloria Patri. 

Psalmus 129. 

De profundis clamavi ad te, Domine: * Domine, exaudi 
vocem meam. 

Fiant aures tuse intendentes * in vocem deprecationis 

Si iniquitates .observaveris, Domine: * Domine, quis 
sustinebit ? 

Quia apud te propitiatio est, * et propter legem tuam 
sustinui te, Domine. 

Sustinuit anima mea in verbo ejus: * speravit anima 
mea in Domino. 

A custodia matutina usque ad noctem * speret Israel 
in Domino. 

Quia apud Dominum misericordia, * et copiosa apud 
eum redemptio. 

Et ipse redimet Israel * ex omnibus iniquitatibus ejus. 

Gloria Patri. 

Prayers of the Jlfissal. 2 7 1 

Delude repetitur Antiphona: 

Ne reminiscaris, Domine, delicta nostra vel parentum 
nostrorum, neque vindictam sumas de peccatis nostris. 

Posted Sacerdos dicit: 
Kyrie eleison. 
Christe eleison. 
Kyrie eleison. 
Pater noster. 

V. Et ne nos inducas in tentationem. 
R. Sed libera nos a malo. 
V. Ego dixi, Domine, miserere mei. 
R. Sana animam meam, quia peccavi tibi. 
V. Convertere, Domine, aliquantulum. 
R. Et deprecare super servos tuos. 
V. Fiat misericordia tua, Domine, super nos. 
R. Ouemadmodum speravimus in te. 
V. Sacerdotes tui induantur justitiam. 
R, Et Sancti tui exultent. 
V. Ab occultis ineis munda me, Domine. 
R. Et ab alienis parce servo tuo. 
V. Domine, exaudi orationem meam. 
R. Et clamor meus ad te veniat. 
V. Dominus vobiscum. 
R. Et cum spiritu tuo. 


Aures tuae pietatis, mitissime Deus, inclina precibus 
nostris, et gratia Sancti Spiritus illumina cor nostrum: 
ut tuis mysteriis digne ministrare, teque aeterna chari- 
tate diligere mereamur. 

Deus, cui omne cor patet, et omnis voluntas loquitur, 
et quem nullum latet secretum; purifica per infusionem 
Sancti Spiritus cogitationes cordis nostri: ut te perfecte 
diligere et digne laudare mereamur. 

272 Preparation for Mass. 

Ure igne Sancti Spiritus renes nostros et cor nostrum, 
Domine: ut tibi casto corpora serviamus et mundo corde 

Mentes nostras, quaesumus, Domine, Paraclitus, qui a 
te procedit, illuminet, et inducat in omnem, sicut tuus 
promisit Filius, veritatem. 

Adsit nobis, quaesumus, Domine, virtus Spiritus 
Sancti: quae et corda nostra clementer expurget et ab 
omnibus tueatur adversis. 

Deus, qui corda fidelium Sancti Spiritus illustratione 
docuisti; da nobis in eodem Spiritu recta sapere, et de 
ejus semper consolatione gaudere. 

Conscientias nostras, quaesumus, Domine, visitando 
purifica: ut veniens Dominus noster Jesus Christus 
Filius tuus paratam sibi in nobis inveniat mansionem. 
Qui tecum vivit et regnat in unitate Spiritus Sancti 
Deus, per omnia saecula saeculorum. Amen. 




Oratio Sancti Ambrosii Episcopi. 

SUMME Sacerdos et vere Pontifex, Jesu Christe, qui te 
obtulisti Deo Patri hostiam puram et immaculatam in 
ara crucis pro nobis miseris peccatoribus, et qui dedisti 
nobis carnem tuam ad manducandum, et sanguinem 
tuum ad bibendum, et posuisti mysterium istud in vir- 
tute Spiritus Sancti tui, dicens: Haec quotiescumque 
feceritis, in mei memoriam facietis: rogo per eundem 
sanguinem tuum, magnum salutis nostrae pretium: rogo 
per hanc miram et ineffabilem caritatem, qua nos mis- 
eros et indignos sic amare dignatus es, ut lavares nos a 

Prayers of the Missal. 273 

peccatis nostris in sanguine tuo: doce me servum tuum 
indignum, quern inter cetera dona tua etiam ad officium 
sacerdotale vocare dignatus es, nullis meis meritis, sed 
sola dignatione misericordise tuae: doce me, quaeso, per 
Spiritum Sanctum tuum, tantum tractare mysterium ea 
reverentia et honore, ea devotione et timore, quibus 
oportet et decet. Fac me per gratiam tuam semper 
illud de tanto mysterio credere et intelligere, sentire et 
firmiter tenere, dicere et cogitare, quod tibi placet et 
expedit animae meac. Intret Spiritus tuus bonus in cor 
meum, qui sonet ibi sine sono, et sine strepitu verborum 
loquatur omnem veritatem. Profunda quippe sunt 
nimis, et sacro tecta velamine. Propter magnam cle- 
mentiam tuam concede mihi Missarum solemnia mundo 
corde et pura mente celebrare. Libera cor meum ab 
immundis et nefandis, vanis et noxiis cogitationibus. 
Muni me beatorum Angelorum pia et fida custodia ac 
tutela fortissima, lit hostes omnium bonorum confusi 
discedant. Per virtutem tanti mysterii, et per manum 
Sancti Angeli tui repelle a me et a cunctis servis tuis 
durissimum spiritum superbiae et xenodoxiae, invidiae 
et blasphemiae, fornicationis et immunditiae, dubietatis 
et diffidentiae. Confundantur, qui nos persequuntur: 
pereant illi, qui nosperdere festinant. 


Rex virginum, et amator castitatis et integritatis, 
ccelesti rore benedictionis tuae extingue in corpore meo 
fomitem ardentis libidinis: ut maneat in me tenor cas 
titatis corporis et animae. Mortifica in membris meis 
carnis stimulos omnesque libidinosas commotiones, et 
da mihi veram et perpetuam castitatem cum ceteris 
donis tuis, quae tibi placent in veritate: ut sacrificium 
laudis casto corpore et mundo corde valeam tibi offerre. 
Quanta enim cordis contritione et lacrymarum fonte, 
quanta reverentia et tremore, quanta corporis castitate 

274 Preparation for- Mass. 

et animae puritate istud divinum et coeleste sacrificium 
est celebrandum, ubi caro tua in veritate sumitur, ubi 
sanguis tuus in veritate bibitur, ubi ima summis, ter- 
rena divinis junguntur, ubi adest sanctorum Angelorum 
praesentia, ubi tu es sacrificium et sacerdos mirabiliter 
et ineffabiliter constitutus! 


Quis digne hoc celebrare potent, nisi tu Deus omni- 
potens offerentem feceris dignum ? Scio, Domine, et 
vere scio, et idipsam pietati tuae confiteor, quia non 
sum dignus accedere ad tantum mysterium propter 
nimia peccata mea et infinitas negligentias meas. Sed 
scio, et veraciter ex toto corde meo credo et ore con- 
fiteor, quia tu potes me facere dignum, qui solus potes 
facere mundum de immundo -conceptum semine, et de 
peccatoribus justos et sanctos. Per hanc omnipoten- 
tiam tuam te rogo, Deus meus, ut concedas mihi pecca- 
tori hoc sacrificium celebrare cum timore et tremore, 
cum cordis puritate et lacrymarum fonte, cum laetitia 
spiritual! et ccelesti gaudio. Sentiat mens meadulcedi- 
nem beatissimae praesentise tuae, et excubias sanctorum 
Angelorum tuorum in circuitu meo. 


Ego enim, Domine, memor venerandae passionis tuae 
accedo ad altare tuum, licet peccator, ut off e ram tibi 
sacrificium, quod tu instituisti, et offerri praecepisti in 
commemorationem tui pro salute nostra. Suscipe illud, 
quaeso, sumrne Deus, pro Ecclesia sancta tua et pro 
populo, quern acquisisti sanguine tuo. Et quoniam me 
peccatorem inter te et eundem populum tuum medium 
esse voluisti, licet in me aliquod boni operis testimo- 
nium non agnoscas, officium saltern dispensationis cre- 
ditae non recuses: nee per me indignum, eorum salutis 
pereat pretium, pro. quibus victima salutaris dignatus 

Prayers of the Missal. 275 

es esse redemptio. Profero etiam, Domine (si digneris 
propitius intueri), tribulationes plebium, pericula popu- 
lorum, captivorum gemitus, miserias orphanorum, neces 
sitates peregrinorum, inopiam debilium, desperationes 
languentium, defectus senum, suspiria iuvenum, vota 
virginum, lamenta viduarum. 


Tu enim misereris omnium, Domine: et nihil odisti 
eorum quse fecisti. Memorare, qua? sit nostra sub 
stantial quia tu Pater noster es, quia tu Deus noster es, 
ne irascaris satis, neque multitudinem viscerum tuorum 
super nos contineas. Non enim in justificationibus 
nostris prosternimus preces ante faciem tuam, sed in 
miserationibus tuis multis. Aufer a nobis iniquitates 
nostras: et ignem Sancti Spiritus in nobis clementer 
accende. Aufer cor lapideum de carne nostra: et da 
nobis cor carneum, quod te amet, te diligat, te delec- 
tetur, te sequatur, te perfruatur. Oramus, Domine, 
clementiam tuam, ut sereno vultu familiam tuam, sacri 
tui nominis officia praestolantem, aspicere digneris; et 
ut nullius sit irritum votum, nullius vacua postulatio, 
tu nobis preces suggere, quas ipse propitius audire et 
exaudire delecteris. 


Rogamus etiam te, Domine Sancte Pater, et pro 
spiritibus fidelium defunctorum, ut sit illis salus, sanitas, 
gaudium et refrigerium hoc magnum pietatis Sacra- 
mentum. Domine Deus meus, sit illis hodie magnum 
et plenum convivium de te pane vivo, qui de ccelo de- 
scendisti, et das vitam mundo, de tua carne sancta et 
benedicta, Agni videlicet immaculati, qui tollis peccata 
mundi, quee de sancto et glorioso Beatae Virginis Mariae 
utero est assumpta, et de Spiritu Sancto concepta; ac 
de illo pietatis fonte, qui per lanceam militis ex tuo 

276 Preparation for Mass. 

sacratissimo latere emanavit: ut exinde refecti et satiati, 
refrigerati et consolati exultent in laude et gloria tua. 
Peto clementiam tuam, Domine, ut descendat super 
panem tibi sacrificandum plenitude tue benedictionis 
et sanctificatio tuae Divinitatis. Descendat etiam, Dom 
ine, ilia Sancti Spiritus tui invisibilis incomprehensi- 
bilisque majestas, sicut quondam in patrum hostias 
descendebat, qui et oblationes nostras, Corpus et San- 
guinem tuum efficiat, et me indignum sacerdotem doceat 
tantum tractare mysterium cum cordis puritate et 
lacrymarum devotione, cum reverentia et tremore, ita 
ut placide ac benigne suscipias sacrificium de manibus 
meis ad salutem omnium tarn vivorum quam defunc- 


Rogo etiam te, Domine, per ipsum sacrosanctum 
mysterium Corporis et Sanguinis tui, quo quotidie in 
Ecclesia tua pascimur et potamur, abluimur et sancti- 
ficamur, atque unius summae divinitatis participes effi- 
cimur, da mihi virtutes tuas sanctas, quibus repletus, 
bona conscientia ad altare tuum accedam, ita ut hsec 
ccelestia sacramenta efficiantur mihi salus et vita. Tu 
enim dixisti ore tuo sancto et benedicto: Panis, quern 
ego dabo, caro mea est pro mundi vita: Ego sum panis 
vivus, qui de ccelo descendi: si quis manducaverit ex 
hoc pane, vivet in aeternum. Panis dulcissime, sana 
palatum cordis mei, ut sentiam suavitatem amoris tui. 
Sana illud ab omni languore, ut nullam prater te sen 
tiam dulcedinem. Panis candidissime, habens omne 
delectamentum et omnem saporem, qui nos semper re- 
ficis, et numquam in te deficis: comedat te cor meum, 
et dulcedine saporis tui repleantur viscera animal mese. 
Manducat te Angelus ore pleno, manducet te peregrinus 
homo pro modulo suo, ne deficere possit in via, tali re- 
creatus viatico. Panis sancte, panis vive, panis munde, 
qui descendisti de ccelo, et das vitam mundo, veni in 

Prayers of the Missal. 277 

cor meum, et munda me ab omni inquinamento carnis 
et spiritus. Intra in animam meam, sana et munda me 
interius et exterius. Esto tutamen et continua salus 
animae et corporis mei. Repelle a me insidiantes mihi 
hostes: recedant procul a praesentia potently tuae, ut 
foris et intus per te munitus, recto tramite ad tuum reg- 
num perveniam, ubi non in mysteriis, sicut in hoc tern- 
pore agitur, sed facie ad faciem te videbimus, cum tra- 
dideris regnum Deo et Patri, et eris Deus omnia in 
omnibus. Tune me de te satiabis satietate mirifica, ita 
ut nee esuriam nee sitiam in aeternum. Qui cum eodem 
Deo Patre et Spiritu Sancto vivis et regnas per omnia 
saecula saeculorum. Amen. 


Alia Oratio ante Missam. 

(Indulg. 100 dierum, Leo PP. XIII., 20 Dec. 1884.) 
Ad mensam dulcissimi convivii tui, pie Domine Jesu 
Christe, ego peccator de propriis meritis nihil praesu- 
mens, sed de tua confidens misericordia et bonitate, 
accedere vereor et contremisco. Nam cor et corpus 
habeo multis criminibus maculatum, mentem et linguam 
non caute custoditam. Ergo, O pia Deitas, O tremenda 
Majestas, ego miser inter angustias deprehensus, ad te 
fontem misericordiae recurro, ad te festino sanandus, sub 
tuam protectionem fugio: et quern judicem sustinere 
nequeo, Salvatorem habere suspiro. Tibi, Domine, 
plagas meas ostendo: tibi verecundiam meam detego. 
Scio peccata mea multa et magna, pro quibus timeo. 
Spero in misericordias tuas, quarum non est numerus. 
Respice ergo in me oculis misericordiae tuae, Domine 
Jesu Christe, Rex aeterne, Deus et homo, crucifixus 
propter hominem. Exaudi me sperantem in te: mis 
erere mei pleni miseriis et peccatis, tu qui fontem mis- 
erationis numquam manare cessabis. Salve salutaris 
victima, pro me et omni humane genere in patibulo 

278 Prepara tion for Mass. 

crucis oblata. Salve nobilis et pretiose Sanguis, de 
Vulneribus crucifix! Domini mei Jesu Christi profmens, 
et peccata totius mundi abluens. Recordare, Domine, 
creaturae tuae, quam tuo Sanguine redemisti. Pcenitet 
me peccasse, cupio emendare quod feci. Aufer ergo a 
me, clementissime Pater, o nines iniquitates et peccata 
mea: ut purificatus mente et corpore, digne degustare 
merear Sancta Sanctorum: et concede, ut sancta prse- 
libatio Corporis et Sanguinis tui, quam ego indignus 
sumere intendo, sit peccatorum meorum remissio, sit 
delictorum perfecta purgatio, sit turpium cogitationum 
effugatio ac bonorum sensuum regeneratio, operumque 
tibi placentium salubris efricacia, animae quoque et cor- 
poris contra inimicorum meorum insidias firmissima 
tuitio. Amen. 


Oratio Sancti Thomse Aquinatis. 

(Indulg. loodierum, Leo PP. XIII., 20 Dec. 1884.) 
Omnipotens sempiterne Deus, ecce accedo ad sacra- 
mentum unigeniti Filii tui Domini nostri Jesu Christi: 
accedo tamquam infirmus ad medicum vitae, immundus 
ad fontem misericordiae, caecus ad lumen claritatis aeter- 
nas, pauper et egenus ad Dominum cceli et terrae. Rogo 
ergo immensae largitatis tuae abundantiam, quatenus 
meam curare digneris infirmitatem, lavare fceditatem, 
illuminare caecitatem, ditare paupertatem, vestire nudi- 
tatem: ut panem Angelorum, Regem regum, et Domi 
num dominantium, tanta suscipiam reverentia et humi- 
litate, tanta contritione et devotione, tanta puritate et 
fide, tali proposito et intentione, sicut expedit saluti 
animae meae. Da mihi, quaeso, Dominici Corporis et San 
guinis non solum suscipere sacramentum, sed etiam rem 
et virtutem sacramenti. O mitissime Deus, da mihi 
Corpus unigeniti Filii tui Domini nostri Jesu Christi, 
quod de Virgine Maria, sic suscipere, ut corpori 

Indulgenced Prayers. 2 79 

suo mystico merear incorporari, et inter ejus membra 
connumerari. O amantissime Pater, concede mihi 
dilectum Filium tuum, quern nunc.velatum in via susci- 
pere propono, revelata tandem facie perpetuo contem- 
plari. Qui tecum vivit et regnat in imitate Spiritus 
Sancti Deus, per omnia saecula saeculorum. Amen. 


Prayer before Mass. 

(Indulgence of fifty days. Gregory XIII. This indulgence, as also 
the following indulgences, are applicable to the souls in purgatory.) 

EGO volo celebrare Missam, et conficere Corpus et 
Sanguinem Domini nostri Jesu Christi, juxta ritum 
Sanctae Romanae Ecclesiae, ad laudem omnipotentis Dei 
totiusque curiae triumphantis, ad utilitatem meam toti- 
usque curiae militantis, pro omnibus, qui se commen- 
darunt orationibus meis in genere et in specie, et pro 
felici s^atu Sanctse Romanae Ecclesiae. Amen. 

Gaudium cum pace, emendationem vitae, spatium 
verne pcenitentiae, gratiam et consolationem S. Spiritus, 
perseverantiam in bonis operibus tribuat nobis omnipo 
tens et misericors Deus. Amen. 

Prayer in Honor of St. Joseph. 

(Indulgence of 100 days, if one recites this prayer before celebrating 
Mass. Pius IX., 4 Febr. 1877.) 

O felicem virum beatum Joseph, cui datum est Deum, 
quem multi reges voluerunt videre et non viderunt, 
audire et non audierunt, non solum videre et audire, sed 
portare, deosculari, vestire, et custodire! 

V. Ora pro nobis, beate Joseph. 

R. Ut digni efficiamur promissionibus Christi. 

280 Preparation for Mass. 


Deus, qui dedisti nobis regale sacerdotium, praesta, 
qusesumus, ut sicut beatus Joseph unigenitum Filium 
tuum natum ex Maria Virgine suis manibus reverenter 
tractare meruit et portare, ita nos facias cum cordis 
munditia et operis innocentia tuis sanctis altaribus de- 
servire, ut sacrosanctum Filii tui Corpus et Sanguinem 
hodie digne sumamus, et in future sseculo prsemium 
habere mereamur aeternum. Per Christum Dominum 
nostrum. Amen. 


Another Prayer to St. Joseph. 

(Indulgence of one hundred days, once a day. Pius IX., February 4, 


Virginum custos et pater, sancte Joseph, cujus fideli 
custodies ipsa Innocentia Christus Jesus et Virgo virgi- 
num Maria commissa fuit, te per hoc utrumque carissi- 
mum pignus Jesum et Mariam obsecro et obtestor, ut 
me ab omni immunditia prseservatum, mente incon- 
taminata, puro corde et casto corpore Jesu et Marise 
semper facias castissime famulari. R. Amen. 



(Indulg. unius anni pro recitatione praeter illam Cantici Bcncdlctus et 
Ps. Laiidatc et cum versiculis et tribus Orationibus adnexis, dua- 
rum sequ. Orationum, quarum altera S. Thomae, altera vero S. 
Bonaventurse. Leo PP. XIII., 20 Decembris, 1884.) 


TRIUM puerorum cantemus hymnum: quern cantabant 
Sancti in camino ignis, benedicentes Dominum. 

Qncc Antiphona in fcstis ditplicibus tantum duplicatur; et Tcmpore 
Paschali) additur in fine : Allcluja. 

Canticum Trium Puerorum. 

Dan. 3. 

Benedicite omnia opera Domini Domino: laudate et 
superexaltate eum in saecula. 

Benedicite Angeli Domini Domino: benedicite coeli 

Benedicite aquae omnes, quae super ccelos sunt, Do 
mino: benedicite omnes virtutes Domini Domino. 

Benedicite sol et luna Domino: benedicite stellae cceli 

Benedicite omnis imber et ros Domino: benedicite 
omnes Spiritus Dei Domino. 

Benedicite ignis et sestus Domino: benedicite frigus 
et aestus Domino. 

Benedicite rores et pruina Domino: benedicite gelu 
et frigus Domino. 

Benedicite glacies et nives Domino; benedicite noctes 
et dies Domino. 

Benedicite lux et tenebrae Domino: benedicite fulgura 
et nubes Domino. 

282 Thanksgiving After Mass. 

Benedicat terra Dominum: laudet et superexaltet eum 
in saecula. 

Benedicite monies et colles Domino: benedicite uni- 
versa germinantia in terra Domino. 

Benedicite fontes Domino: benedicite maria et flumina 

Benedicite cete, et omnia quae moventur in aquis, Do 
mino: benedicite omnes volucres cceli Domino. 

Benedicite omnes bestiae et pecora Domino: benedi 
cite filii hominum Domino. 

Benedicat Israel Dominurri: laudet et superexaltet 
eum in saecula. 

Benedicite sacerdotes Domini Domino: benedicite 
servi Domini Domino. 

Benedicite spiritus et animae justorum Domino: bene 
dicite sancti et humiles corde Domino. 

Benedicite Anania, Azaria, Misael Domino: laudate et 
superexaltate eum in saecula. 

Benedicamus Patrem et Filium cum Sancto Spiritu: 
laudemus, et superexaltemus eum in saecula. 

Benedictus es, Domine, in firmamento cceli: et lau- 
dabilis et gloriosus et superexaltatus in saecula. 

Psalmus 150. 

Laudate Dominum in Sanctis ejus: laudate eum in 
firmamento virtutis ejus. 

Laudate eum in virtutibus ejus: laudate eum secun- 
dum multitudinem magnitudinis ejus. 

Laudate eum in sono tubae: laudate eum in psalterio 
et cithara. 

Laudate eum in tympano et choro: laudate eum in 
chordis et organo. 

Laudate eum in cymbalis benesonantibus: laudate 
eum in cymbalis jubilationis: omnis spiritus laudet Do 

Gloria Patri. 

Prayers of the Missal. 283 

Deinde Repetitur Antiphona : 

Trium puerorum cantemus hymnum: quern cantabant 
Sancti in camino ignis, benedicentes Dominum. (Al- 

Deinde Sacerdos dicit : 

Kyrie eleison. 
Christe eleison. 
Kyrie eleison. 
Pater noster. 

V. Et ne nos inducas in tentationem. 
R. Sed libera nos a malo. 

V. Confiteantur tibi, Domine, omnia opera tua. 
R. Et Sancti tui benedicant tibi. 
V. Exultabunt Sancti in gloria. 
R. Laetabuntur in cubilibus suis. 
V. Non nobis, Domine, non nobis. 
R. Sed nomini tuo da gloriam. 
V. Domine, exaudi orationem meam. 
R. Et clamor meus ad te veniat. 
V. Dominus vobiscum. 
R. Et cum spiritu tuo. 


Deus, qui tribus pueris mitigasti flammas ignium; 
concede propitius, ut nos famulos tuos non exurat flamma 

Actiones nostras, qusesumus, Domine, aspirando prae- 
veni et adjuvando prosequere: ut cuncta nostra oratio 
et operatic a te semper incipiat, et perte ccepta finiatur. 

Da nobis, quaesumus, Domine, vitiorum nostrorum 
flammas extinguere, qui beato Laurentio tribuisti tor- 
mentorum suorum incendia superare. Per Christum 
Dominum nostrum. Amen. 

284 Thanksgiving After Mass. 



Oratio Sancti Thomae Aquinatis. 

GRATIAS tibi ago, Domine sancte, Pater omnipotens, 
ceterne Deus, qui me peccatorem indignum famulum 
tuum, nullis meis mentis, sed sola dignatione miseri- 
cordise tuse satiare dignatus es pretioso Corpore et 
Sanguine Filii tui Domini nostri Jesu Christi. Et pre- 
cor, ut haec sancta communio ncn sit mihi reatus ad 
poenam, sed intercessio salutaris ad veniam. Sit mihi 
armatura fidei, et scutum bonae voluntatis. Sit vitiorum 
meorum evacuatio: concupiscentiae et libidinis exter- 
minatio: caritatis et patientise, humilitatis et obedientiae, 
omniumque virtutum augmentatio: contra insidias in- 
imicorum omnium, tarn visibilium quam invisibilium, 
firma defensio: motuum meorum, tarn carnalium quam 
spiritualium, perfecta quietatio: in te uno ac vero Deo 
firma adhaesio: atque finis mei felix consummatio. Et 
precor te, ut ad illud ineffabile convivium me pecca 
torem perducere digneris, ubi tu cum Filio tuo et Spiritu 
Sancto, Sanctis tuis es lux vera, satietas plena, gaudium 
sempiternum, jucunditas consummata, et felicitas per- 
fecta. Per eumdem Christum Dominum nostrum. 


Oratio Sancti Bonaventurse. 

Transfige, dulcissime Domine Jesu, medullas et viscera 
animae meae suavissimo ac saluberrimo amoris tui vulnere, 
vera serenaque et apostolica sanctissima caritate, ut 
langueat et liquefiat anima mea solo semper amore et 

Prayers of the Missal. 285 

dcsiderio tui, te concupiscat et deficiat in atria tua, 
cupiat dissolvi et esse tecum. Da, ut anima mea te 
esuriat, panem Angelorum, refectionem animarum sanc- 
tarum, panem nostrum quotidianum supersubstantialem, 
habentem omnem dulcedinem et saporem et omne de- 
lectamentum suavitatis: te, in quern desiderant Angeli 
prospicere, semper esuriat et comedat cor meum, et 
dulcedine saporis tui repleantur viscera animae meae: te 
semper sitiat fontem vitae, fontem sapientioe et scientiae, 
fontem aeterni luminis, torrentem voluptatis, ubertatem 
domus Dei: te semper ambiat, te quaerat, te inveniat, ad 
te tendat, ad te perveniat, te meditetur, te loquatur, et 
omnia operetur in laudem et gioriam nominis tui, cum 
humilitate et discretione, cum dilectione et delectatione 
cum facilitate et affectu, cum perseverantia usque in 
finem: et tu sis solus semper spes mea, tota fiducia mea, 
diviticc meae, delectatio mea, jucunditas mea gaudium 
meum, quies et tranquillitas mea, pax mea, suavitas 
mea, odor meus, dulcedo mea, cibus meus, refectio mea, 
refugium meum, auxilium meum, sapientia mea, portio 
mea, possessio mea, thesaurus meus, in quo fixa et firma 
et immobiliter semper sit radicata metis mea et cor 
meum. Amen. 


Rhythmus S. Thomae ad Sacram Eucharistiam. 
(Indulg. loodierum, Leo PP. XIII., 20 Dec. 1884.) 
ADORO te devote, latens Deitas, 
Ouae sub his figuris vere latitas; 
Tibi se cor meum totum subjicit: 
Ouia te contemplans totum deficit. 

Visus, tactus, gustus in te fallitur, 
Sed auditu solo tuto creditur. 
Credo quidquid dixit Dei Filius: 
Nil hoc verbo Veritatis verius. 

286 Thanksgiving After Mass. 

In cruce latebat sola Deitas; 
At hie latet simul et humanitas. 
Ambo tamen credens atque confitens, 
Peto quod petivit latro poenitens. 

Plagas, sicut Thomas, non intueor; 
Deum tamen meum te confiteor: 
Fac me tibi semper magis credere, 
In te spem habere, te diligere. 

O memoriale mortis Domini ! 
Panis vivus, vitam praestans homini; 
Praesta mese menti de te vivere, 
Et te illi semper dulce sapere. 

Pie Pelicane, Jesu Domine, 
Me immundum munda tuo sanguine: 
Cujus una stilla salvum facere. 
Totum mundum quit ab omni scelere. 

Jesu, quern velatum nunc aspicio, 
Oro, fiat illud, quod tarn sitio; 
Ut te revelata cernens facie, 
Visu sim beatus tuae gloriae. 


Prayers after Mass. 

(Indulgence of three years. This indulgence, as also the following in 
dulgences, are applicable to the souls in purgatory. Pius IX., 
Dec. u, 1846.) 

OBSECRO te, dulcissime Domine Jesu Christe, ut Passio 
tua sit mihi virtus, qua muniar, protegar, atque defendar: 
vulnera tua sint mihi cibus potusque, quibus pascar, 

Indulgcuccd Prayers. 287 

inebrier, atque delecter; aspersio Sanguinis tui sit mihi 
ablutio omnium delictorum meorum, mors tua sit mihi 
gloria sempiterna. In his sit mihi refectio, exultatio, 
sanitas, et dulcedo cordis mei. Oui vivis et regnas in 
saecula saeculorum. Amen. 

Invocation of St. Ignatius. 

(Post Missam Indulg. 7 annorum scmcl in die; aliter 300 dierum toties 
quoties. Indulg. plenar. semel in mense, si hoec Oratio quotidie re- 
citatur. Pius IX., 9 Jan. 1854.) 

Anima Christi, sanctifica me; Corpus Christi, salva 
me; Sanguis Christi, inebria me; Aqua lateris Christi, 
lava me; Passio Christi, conforta me. O bone Jesu, 
exaudi me; intra Vulnera tua absconde me; ne per- 
mittas me separari a te; ab hoste maligno defende me; 
in hora mortis meae voca me, et jube me venire ad te, ut 
cum Angelis tuis laudem te in ssecula saeculorum. Amen. 


Prayer before the Crucifix. 

(Plenary indulgence for those that recite it after Confession and Com 
munion, and who add some other prayer to the intention of His Holi 
ness. Pius IX., July 31, 1858.) 

En ego, O bone et dulcissime Jesu, ante conspectum 
tuum genibus me provolvo ac maximo animi ardore te 
oro atque obtestor, ut meum in cor vividos fidei, spei et 
caritatissensus, atque veram peccatorum meorum pceni- 
tentiam, eaque emendandi firmissimam voluntatem velis 
imprimere: dum magno animi affectu et dolore tua 
quinque Vulnera mecum ipse considero ac mente con- 
templor, illud prae oculis habens, quod jam in ore pone- 
bat suo David propheta de te, O bone Jesu: " Foderunt 
manus meas et pedes meos, dinumeraverunt omnia ossa 


Preparation for Mass ano (Eljanksgimng after is. 



We do not precisely know when St. Alphonsus com 
posed and published this little work; but it is probably 
that which is found in the collection printed in 1758 
under the title of Novena of Christmas, and which Car 
dinal Villecourt (1. 6, p. I., ch. v. et vi. i Tableau chron.) 
mentions in these words: "Acts for preparation and 
thanksgiving, preceded by a few considerations on the 
Holy Sacrifice of the Mass." ED. 



MAN cannot perform a more holy, a more grand, and 
a more sublime action than to celebrate a Mass, in regard 
to which the Council of Trent says: "We must needs 
confess that no other work can be performed by the 
faithful so holy and divine as this tremendous mystery 
itself." l God himself cannot cause an action to be per 
formed that is holier and grander than the celebra 
tion of Mass. All the sacrifices of the Old Law were 
but a shadow, a figure, of our divine Sacrifice. The 
sacrifice of the lives of all the saints, of all the angels, 
of the Mother of God herself, would certainly never pro 
cure for God the honor that a single Mass procures, be 
cause only the Mass renders to God an infinite honor. 

The Mass is therefore an action that renders to God 
the greatest honor that can be rendered to him, and that 
obtains the most powerful suffrage for the souls in pur 
gatory. It is also an action that breaks most triumph 
antly the powers of hell, that most efficaciously appeases 
the anger of the Lord against sinners, and that obtains 
for us most abundant graces. For what is the good thing 
of him, and what is his beautiful thing, but the corn of the 
elect, and wine springing forth virgins?* At the Mass the 

1 " Necessario fatemur nullum aliud opus adeo sanctum .ac divinum 
a Christi fidelibus tractari posse, quam hoc tremendum mysterium." 
Scss. xxii. Deer, de obs. in cclebr. M. 

2 ;< Quid enim bonum ejus est, ct quid pulchrum eftis. nisi frumentum 
electorum, ct vinum germinans virgines?" Zuc/i. ix. 17. 

292 Preparation and Thanksgiving. 

Son of God himself sacrifices himself to his eternal 
Father and gives himself to us in the Holy Sacrament, 
which contains all that is good and beautiful in the 
Church; for, as St. Thomas says, all the other sacra 
ments have as their end the Eucharist " Nearly all the 
sacraments are brought to perfection in the Eucharist." 
Every Mass that is celebrated procures for the world 
the greatest benefits that the Sacrifice on the cross pro 
cured for it, according to the teaching of the angelic 
Doctor who says: " Whatever is the effect of the Passion 
of our Lord, is also entirely the effect of this sacrament." 2 
The holy Church also assures us of this when she says: 
" As many times as this commemorative sacrifice is cele 
brated, so often is the work of our redemption per 
formed." 3 In fact, it is the same Redeemer who is the 
Victim offered on the altar where he offers himself as a 
sacrifice by the ministry of the priests; and the Council 
of Trent teaches: " For the victim is one and the same 
the same now offering by the ministry of priests, who 
then offered himself on the cross, the manner alone of 
offering being different. " 1 Thus, as the Doctors teach, 
if Jesus Christ had not yet come into the world, the 
priest would make him come by pronouncing the form 
of Consecration according to the celebrated sentence of 
St. Augustine: "O sublime dignity of priests, in whose 
hands, as in the womb of the Virgin, the Son of God be 
came incarnate !" : The sacrifice of the cross is applied 

1 " Fere omnia Sacramenta in Eucharistia consummantur. " P. 3, q. 
6 5 , a. 3. 

2 " Quidquid est effectus Dominicae passionis, totum etiam est effectus 
hujus Sacramenti." In Jo. 6, led. 6. 

3 " Quoties hujus Hostiae commemoratio celcbratur, opus nostrne 
redemptionis exercetur." Dom. ix. post Pent. 

4 " Una enim eademque est Hostia, idem nunc offerens Sacerdotum 
ministerio, qui seipsum tune in cruce obtulit, sola offerendi ratione di- 
versa." Sess. xxii. DC sctcrif. J\f. c. ii. 

5 " O veneranda Sacerdotum dignitas, in quorum manibus, velut in 

Introduction. 293 

to us by a Sacrifice of .the altar. The Passion of our 
Lord renders us capable of redemption; Mass puts us 
in possession of it, and makes us participate in the merits 
of Jesus Christ. 

We are then incapable, by any work that we may per 
form, of thanking God for the innumerable benefits that 
he has conferred upon us; but by offering to him Jesus 
Christ at the Sacrifice of the Mass, we render him 
worthy thanksgiving. St. Irenaeus says: "The divine 
Sacrifice was instituted that we might not be ungrateful 
to God." : Moreover, by this sacrifice we can obtain all 
graces. It has been promised us that we shall obtain 
all that we shall ask of God in the name of Jesus Christ: 
If you ask the Father anything in My name, he will give it to 
you;* how much more confidently should we hope to 
obtain what we ask, when we offer him Jesus Christ 
himself ! Our loving Redeemer is continually making 
intercession for us in heaven: Who also maketh intercession 
for f/s. J But this is done more especially at the time of 
the Sacrifice of the Mass, in which, by the hands of the 
priest, he presents himself to his Father to obtain graces 
for us. If we knew that all the saints, with the Blessed 
Virgin, were praying for us, what confidence would we 
not have to obtain favors ! Now, a single prayer of 
Jesus Christ can effect infinitely more than all the 
prayers of the saints. 

Poor, wretched sinners, what would become of us if 
we had not this divine Sacrifice to appease the Lord ? 
"For the Lord," says the Council of Trent, "appeases 
by the oblation thereof, and, granting the grace and 
utero Virginis, Filius Dei incarnatur !" Molina, Instit. Sac. tr. i, c. 5, 


1 "Divinum Sacrificium ideo institutum est, ne nos ingrati simus 
apud Deum." Adv. Hicr. \. 4, c. 32. 

4 " Si quid petieritis Patrem in nomine meo, dabit vobis." John, 
xvi. 23. 

;; " Qui etiam interpellat pro nobis." />Vw. viii. 34. 

294 Preparation and Thanksgiving. 

gift of penitence, forgives even heinous crimes and 
sins." ] In a word, as the Passion of Jesus Christ was 
sufficient to save the whole world, so is a single Mass 
sufficient to save it. Hence, while offering the chalice, 
the priest says: "We offer unto Thee, O Lord! the 
chalice of salvation, ... for our salvation, and for that 
of the whole world." 2 


Let us thence conclude what will be the account that 
will have to be rendered by priests who celebrate this 
great sacrifice without reverence. The Venerable Father 
John d Avila, hearing that a priest had died after having 
celebrated his first Mass, cried out: " O what a terrible 
account will this priest have to render for this first 
Mass !" Alas ! where do we find devotion, reverence, 
among the priests that say Mass ? Mass is, as we have 
said, the sublimest, the holiest action; so that, accord 
ing to the Council of Trent, we should perform it with 
as much devotion and purity of conscience as possible: 
" It is sufficiently clear that all industry and diligence 
are to be applied to this end; that it be performed with 
the greatest possible inward cleanness and purity of 
heart, and outward show of devotion and piety." 3 
Nevertheless, this action is the most neglected by many 
priests. Certainly, they would use more care in per 
forming a part in a comedy than they would in cele- 

" Hujus quippe oblatione placatus Dominus, gratiam et donum 
poenitentiae concedens, crimina et peccata etiam ingentia dimittit." 
Sess. xxii. De Sacrif. M. c. ii. 

" Offerimus tibi, Domine, calicem salutaris . . . pro nostra et 
totius mundi salute." 

"Satis apparet omnem operam et diligentiam in eo ponendam esse, 
ut, quanta maxima fieri potest interior! cordis munditia atque exteriori 
devotionis ac pielatis specie, peragatur." Scss. xxii. Deer, dc obs. in 
eel. M. 

Introduction. 295 

brating Mass. There are some that go so far as to say 
Mass in less than a quarter of an hour. This cannot be 
excused from a mortal sin even when it would be a Mass 
for the dead, as we have proved in our Moral Theology, 
for it is impossible to celebrate Mass in so short a time 
without neglecting in a serious manner the words and 
the ceremonies; without gravely failing in the respect 
and gravity that such a Sacrifice demands; and, more 
over, without giving great scandal to seculars. 

In speaking of this subject, one should shed tears, and 
tears of blood. On the day of judgment, priests that 
celebrate in this manner will be greatly to be pitied. 
But greatly are also to be compassionated bishops that 
permit them to celebrate Mass; for bishops, as in the 
common opinion of Doctors, and as is certain according 
to the Council of Trent, are strictly obliged to forbid 
priests to celebrate Mass if they say it with such an 
irreverence (called impiety by the Council), which, while 
speaking of this divine Sacrifice, expresses itself thus: 
"The holy Synod decrees that the ordinary bishops of 
places shall take diligent care, and be bound, to prohibit 
all those things that irreverence (which can hardly be 
separated from impiety) has introduced." 2 To fulfil 
this precept of the Council conformably to the terms 
quoted, l< they shall take diligent care, and be bound, to 
prohibit." The bishops are therefore obliged continually 
to watch and to gather information in regard to the 
manner in which the Masses are celebrated in their 
dioceses, and to suspend from celebrating Mass those 
that perform this duty without due care and without 
befitting gravity. Besides, this obligation imposed on 
the bishops regards, not only secular priests, but also 

1 ThcoL mor. 1. 6, n. 400. 

* " Decernit sancta synodus ut Ordinarii locorum ea omnia prohibere 
sedulo curent ac teneantur, qure irreverentia (quse ab impietate vix 
sejuncta esse potcst) induxit." Sess. xxii. dc (>/>s. in eel. Af. 

296 Preparation and Thanksgiving. 

religious; for by the same decree the bishops are in this 
respect appointed apostolic delegates " As delegates of 
the Apostolic See, they may prohibit, ordain, reform, and 
establish, and may compel the faithful people inviolably 
to observe them, by ecclesiastical censures and other 
penalties." ] 

However, notwithstanding all this, we must say that 
it is a pity to see priests ordinarily holding in contempt 
Jesus Christ when they celebrate this august mystery; 
and what causes most astonishment is to see even re 
ligious belonging to the reformed Orders, in which regu 
lar observance should reign, saying Mass in such a way 
that they would scandalize even Turks and idolaters. 

It is true that the Sacrifice of the altar suffices to 
pacify God for all the sins of the world; but how can it 
pacify him for the injuries that priests heap upon him 
during the time that they offer the sacrifice to him ? In 
celebrating Mass with so little respect, they on their part 
cause God more dishonor than honor; they offend him 
then by outraging the divine Victim even though they 
offer him to God. The heretic who does not believe in 
the real presence of Jesus Christ in the holy Sacrifice is 
guilty; but more guilty is he who believes in it and 
manifests no respect for it. Moreover, the priest who 
celebrates Mass with little respect causes those that are 
present to lose the esteem and the veneration due to the 
majesty of so great a sacrament. The Jewish people 
had at first great veneration for Jesus Christ; but when 
they saw him despised by the priests, they lost all the 
esteem that they had entertained for him. So, also, at 
present the people lose the respect that they had for 
Mass when they see it treated with so much negligence 
and indevotion by priests. As a Mass celebrated de 
voutly inspires devotion, so, on the contrary, the irrev- 

" Ipsi, ut delegati Sedis Apostolicre, prohibeant, mandent, corrigant, 
atque, ad ea servanda, censuris aliisque poems compellant." 

/;/ tr eduction. 297 

erence of the priest diminishes the veneration and even 
the faith of those that are present. In fact, how could 
the indevotion of the priest, who is the minister of this 
divine Sacrifice and the guardian of the body of Jesus 
Christ, inspire others with sentiments of respect and 
devotion ? What idea can a priest give to others, of the 
sanctity and the majesty of so august a mystery, who 
shows for it contempt rather than veneration ? 

But one will say: Seculars complain of priests when 
the Mass is long. What ! is the little devotion that 
seculars have, to be the rule governing the amount of 
respect with which the priest should celebrate Mass ? I 
add that if all the priests would celebrate with the re 
spect and the gravity that are due to this great sacrifice, 
seculars would assuredly be penetrated with a quite 
different veneration for Mass; and they would not com 
plain of being obliged to hear a Mass that lasts half an 
hour. But usually seeing only Masses that inspire 
anything but respect and devotion, they assume the 
habit of indevotion and languor in the faith. Then if 
they see a priest celebrate Mass with befitting reverence, 
that bad habit makes them feel annoyed, and they com 
plain; and those that do not grow tired by remaining 
several hours at a gaming-table, or in an ante-chamber 
to pay court to a man of this world, find it irksome to 
spend half an hour in a church in order to hear Mass. 
If all the priests, says an author, would celebrate Mass 
as priests, seculars would hear Mass devoutly as Chris 

How astonishing ! God enjoined upon priests of the 
Old Law to tremble at the mere sight of the sanctuary 
Pavetc ad sanctuariiim mciim; 1 and the priests of Jesus 
Christ should dare to remain at the altar in the presence 
of the incarnate Word to offer him as a sacrifice, to hold 
him in their hands, and to nourish themselves with his 
adorable flesh, to do all this with little respect ! 
1 Levit. xxvi. .; 

298 Preparation and Thanksgiving. 

For my part, says one of them, I do not fail in what 
is essential; to fail in the ceremonies is a trifling matter. 
Let him who speaks in this manner listen to the words 
that the Lord addressed to those that neglected the cere 
monies of the ancient sacrifices: But if thou wilt not hear 
the voice of the Lord thy God, to keep and to do all his com 
mandments and ceremonies which I command thee this day, 
all these curses shall come upon thee, and overtake thee. 
Cursed shalt thou be in the city, cursed in the field. . . . St. 
Teresa used to say: " For the least of the ceremonies of 
the Church I would lay down my life a thousand times." 2 
And the priest should set little value on the ceremonies 
of Mass ! Father Suarez 3 teaches that the omission of 
any ceremony in the Mass is a sin; and Doctors agree 
in saying that a notable negligence in the ceremonies, 
which must necessarily be the case if one celebrates 
Mass too hurriedly, is a mortal sin, as well on account 
of the great irreverence that one commits against the 
holy Sacrifice as on account of the scandal given 
thereby to those that are present by making them lose 
the veneration that is due to the Mass. To you, O priests, 
that despise My name, and have said : Wherein have we^ de 
spised Thy name ? . . . In that you say : The table of the 
Lord is contemptible* The contempt that priests have 
for the altar is the cause why others also show contempt 
for it. 

Because Mass is so badly celebrated, we see that among 
so many priests there are so few saints. Moses did not 
emerge from the interview that he had with God with- 

1 "Quod si audire nolueris vocem Domini Dei tui, lit custodias et 
facias omnia mandata ejus et cseremonias, quas ego praecipio tibi hodie, 
venient super te omnes maledictiones istae, et apprehendent te. Male- 
dictus eris in civitate, maledictus in agro. . . ." Dcut. xxviii. 15. 

2 Life, ch. 33. 3 DC Sacram. d. 84, s. 2. 

4 " Ad vos, o Sacerdotes, qui despicitis nomen meum, et dixistis: In 
quo despeximus nomen tuum? . . . In eo quod dicitis: Mensa Domini 
despecta est. ",)/#/. i. 6. 

Introduction. 299 

out being entirely inflamed with love so that his face 
was resplendent with light; in the same way no priest 
should leave the altar without being inflamed with new 
fervor. But experience shows that the priests who cele 
brate Mass with little devotion always continue in the 
same faults. They are seen to be always lukewarm, 
always impatient, proud, envious, always attached to 
J;heir own honor, to their own interest, to the pleasures 
and pastimes of the world. Where is therefore the fruit 
of so many divine Sacrifices that they offer every day on 
the altar of the Lord, and of so many Communions in 
which every day they nourish themselves with the flesh 
of Jesus Christ ? 


Cardinal Bona gives us this advice: " The defect is 
not in the food, but in the disposition of the one that 
eats it." Hence, to come to the point, I say that the 
first cause why priests commit so many faults and cele 
brate with so little devotion and respect is that they go 
to the altar without thinking of what they are going to 
do; one goes to the altar through a motive of self-inter 
est, through habit, without the proper disposition, and 
without preparation. 

As for the disposition: in order to derive benefit from 
the Mass two things are necessary the desire to advance 
in divine love, and detachment from earthly affections. 
Divine love finds no room in a heart filled with the 
things of the earth; it cannot enter there. 

As for \\\z preparation: at least a half-hour s, or, at the 
very least, a quarter of an hour s, meditation should be 
devoted to it. What devotion can be brought to the 
Mass by a priest who goes to celebrate Mass without 
preparation, passing at once to the altar from worldly 

1 " Defectus non in cibo est, sed in edentis dispositione." DC Sacr. 
M. c. 6, 6. 

300 Preparation and Thanksgiving. 

occupations and discourse, without even thinking of 
what he is going to do? 

It is indeed remarkable that so many excellent 
authors Cardinal Bona, Fathers Molina, Mansi, and 
Sabatini, and many others earnestly recommend the 
preparation for Mass, and have written for this purpose 
so beautiful considerations and affections; and yet how 
many are there that make this preparation? I have 
therefore thought of publishing the following Consid 
erations and Affections as a preparation for Mass for 
every day of the week. I have tried to make them very 
short, so that priests who cannot spend much time in 
preparation may at least read these few reflections be 
fore celebrating, and recite the acts that follow them. 


At the end I have added some other Affections and 
Prayers for thanksgiving after Mass; for the neglect of 
making the thanksgiving is also a very deplorable dis 
order, which is the cause why priests derive so little 
benefit from the holy Sacrifice. What a pity to see so 
many priests who, having scarcely said Mass, leave the 
church or begin to speak about useless things ! Authors 
also strive to recommend the union with God after Com 
munion; but who are the priests that observe this prac 
tice ? There are some; but they are rare. We even see 
religious who, living in solitude, say many prayers at 
other times, but who are careless about uniting them 
selves to God after Mass. 

Many grave authors, however, teach that holy Com 
munion, as long as the sacramental species last, produce 
more and more fruit in the soul, according as we mul 
tiply the acts by which we dispose ourselves to receive 
graces. Besides, they say that the good acts after Com 
munion are of much more value and merit before God 
than if they were made at some other time; and with 

Introduction. 30 1 

reason, for then the soul is united with Jesus Christ, 
according to what he himself has said: He that eateth My 
flesh, and drinkcth My blood, abideth in Me, and I in him. 1 
On his part our Lord, at this moment, seems to be more 
disposed to distribute his graces. St. Teresa assures us 
that Jesus Christ after Communion places himself in 
our soul as upon a throne of grace, and he says to it: 
What wilt thou that I should do to thee?* Dear soul, ask 
graces of me; I have expressly come to do thee favors; 
ask of me now what thou wishest of me, and thow wilt 
obtain it. In the same manner Father Balthasar Al 
varez and all the mystical Doctors recommend that one 
should set a high value on the time that follows Com 
munion. The Venerable John d Avila, even during his 
missions, as is related in his life, spent at least two hours 
in prayer after Mass. 


Before coming to the Considerations, it seems fitting to 
add here the opinion expressed by a wise author in regard 
to those who through humility abstain from celebrating 
Mass. These priests say: I abstain from celebrating 
Mass often, because I know that I am unworthy of such 
a privilege. The author answers them, that it is well to 
abstain from saying Mass out of humility, but that to do 
so is not the best act: the acts of humility procure hon 
or to God, but it is a finite honor, which comes from us; 
while the honor that we render to him in celebrating 
Mass is an infinite honor, because it is given to God by 
a divine Person. When, therefore, we take care to pre 
pare ourselves to celebrate Mass with such a devotion 
as our weakness will permit us, we procure much more 
glory to God by celebrating Mass than by abstaining 
from doing so through humility. 

" Qui manducat meam carnem, et bibit meum sanguinem, in me 
manet, et ego in illo." John, vi. 57. 

2 " Quid tibi vis faciam ?" Mark, x. 51. 

preparation for illass. 




For Sunday. 


De stercore erigens pauperem, ut collocet eum cum principibus populi sui. 

Ps. cxii. 7, 8. 
(Raising up the needy from the earth, and lifting up the poor out of the dunghill. 

CONSIDER, O priest, that God could not have made 
you greater in this world than he has done. For to 
what greater dignity could he have raised you, than to 
make you his minister on earth for those things that be 
long to his greater glory ? He has allowed you to ascend 
the altar, to sacrifice thereon his own Son. In how 
many ways has he not chosen you, in order to make you 
a priest ! Out of innumerable creatures whom he might 
have made, he has chosen you, and has placed you in 
the world. Again, from the midst of millions of infidels 
and heretics he has chosen to place you in the true 
Church: he has made you a Christian and a Catholic. 
Moreover, out of so many millions of believers he has 
made you a priest. 

Ah ! if God should have honored but one man in the 
world with the priesthood, with the power of causing 
the Incarnate Word to descend upon this earth and of 
delivering souls from hell by absolving them from their 
sins, in what estimation would not such a priest be held 
by all? and what thanksgivings would not this priest 
offer to God ? What would he not do out of love for 
him, in seeing himself chosen before all other men for 

/. For Sunday. 303 

so great an honor? But consider here, O priest, that 
the number of other priests in no way diminishes your 
own dignity and your own obligations. 

It is with reason, then, that Almighty God expects 
every priest to belong entirely to himself. The Holy 
Scriptures call a priest homo Dei, that is, a man who be 
longs to God alone. The priests of the Old Law e*- 
tended their hands over the victims to signify that they 
themselves offered their own lives in sacrifice, in the 
same way as they sacrificed the lives of the animals: 
and so in like manner, when the priests of the New Law 
extend their hands over the oblata they likewise declare 
that they are bound to offer their lives and their entire 
selves to God, in union with the life of Jesus Christ, 
whom they offer in the Holy Sacrifice. 

Behold, then, you are now about to approach the altar, 
where by a few words you will call down the divine 
Word into your hands, and at the sound of your voice 
the substance of the bread and of the wine will be 
changed into the body and blood of Jesus Christ. You 
are going, moreover, to the altar as the ambassador of 
the human race, to intercede with God for the Church 
and for all mankind. Prepare yourself, then, by the 
following affections. 


O my God ! it is in me indeed that the words of David 
have their proper fulfilment : DC stercore erigens pau 
per em, ut collocet cum cum principibus populi sui. For see 
how I, a miserable sinner, who for my sins have deserved 
these many years to be imprisoned in hell beneath the 
devil s feet, abandoned by ail and by Thee my beloved 
Lord, am now about to celebrate, that is to offer Thee 
in sacrifice Thine own Son. Behold, in a few moments 
the King of Heaven, the Eternal Word, will at my word 
come down upon the altar. He will come into my 

304 Preparation for Mass. 

hands, to be offered by me, and then to feed me with 
his own most holy flesh. 

God of my soul, I, a priest ! I, who have so often 
turned my back upon Thee ! I, who for a mere trifle, or 
for a brief and empoisoned pleasure, have bartered Thy 
friendship and renounced Thy grace and Thy love. Ah! 
how wert Thou able to choose me among so many faith 
ful and innocent souls to be Thy priest? 

Enlighten me, I beseech Thee, O Lord; increase my 
faith: Noverim te, noverim me. Make me know who 
Thou art, who wiliest to give Thyself to me this morn 
ing; and who I am, who am about to receive Thee. I 
pray Thee, through the merits of Thy blood, cleanse my 
soul from its many stains before I ascend the altar. 
Pardon me, O my Jesus ! before Thou comest into my 
hands and into my breast. I have offended and dis 
pleased Thee, the Sovereign Good: I am sorry for this 
with all my soul. 

1 believe, my Redeemer, that Thou art the Son of 
God; that Thou didst die for me, and that Thou hast 
left Thyself in the most Holy Sacrament to be sacrificed 
by Thy priests, and to become our food. 

I hope of Thee, through Thy Passion and Thy prom 
ises, to love Thee always for the time to come, and to 
possess Thee in eternity. I love Thee, my dear Re 
deemer I love Thee more than myself; and because I 
love Thee, I repent with my whole heart of all my 
offences against Thee, because by them I have offended 
Thee who art infinite goodness.* 

I love Thee, my God; but I love Thee too little. 

I would wish to love Thee as much as a priest is 
bound to love Thee. I desire to receive Thee with that 

* It is well to repeat every day, immediately before celebrating, 
these four acts of faith, hope, love, and contrition; and this even 
though the meditation be already made. 

/. For Sunday. 305 

fove with which so many loving souls receive Thee. 
Inflame me, I beseech Thee, with Thy love, and make 
me all Thine own. 

Eternal Father, I offer Thee this Sacrifice in thanks 
giving for all Thy benefits to mankind, especially for 
those conferred on the sacred humanity of Jesus Christ, 
the most Blessed Virgin, on my guardian angel, and on 
all my patron saints: and I beg of Thee, through the 
merits of Jesus Christ, holy perseverance, Thy love, and 
all those other graces that Jesus, Mary, and my holy 
Advocates ask of Thee for me. 

With regard to prayers for others, it will be well for the priest to 
recommend in the holy Alass those who are named in the following 
Memento : 


I. O Lord! I recommend to Thee the Sovereign Pon 
tiff, and all prelates, confessors, preachers, and priests: 
grant them zeal and the spirit of their state, that they 
may give themselves to the salvation of souls. 

II. My relatives, friends, and enemies; the dying who 
are on the point of leaving this world; and all the faith 
ful who are in Thy grace: give them, O Lord, persever 
ance and the fervor in Thy love. 

III. All infidels, heretics, and sinners: give them light 
and strength, that they may all know and love Thee. 


I. I recommend to Thee, O Lord! the souls of my 
parents, benefactors, friends, and enemies; and of those 
who are in Purgatory through my fault. 

II. The souls of the priests, and especially of those 
who labored for souls. 

III. The souls of those who were most devout to the 
Passion of Jesus Christ, to the most Holy Sacrament, 
and to the divine Mother; the souls who are the most 


306 Preparation for Mass. 

forgotten; those who are suffering the most; and those 
who are nearest to the gate of Paradise. 

Each Memento may be repeated every day ,* at least the intention may be 
made of recommending those here specified. 

Ad laudem et gloriam Sanctissimae Trinitatis, in 
memoriam benedicti Salvatoris nostri Jesu Christi, vitae, 
passionis, mortis, et resurrecti onis, ac in operum et 
meritorum suorum omniumque Sanctorum unionem; 
ad laudem quoque et exaltationem Beatissimae semper 
Virginis ejus matris Mariae, coelestium Angelorum, 
Sanctorum atque Sanctarum, et signanter N. N. et alio- 
rum devotorum meorum; offero, etiam cum ipsorum 
beatorum spirituum laudibus, Sanctorum omnium pre- 
cibus et meritis, nunc et semper, hoc et omniaalia sacri- 
ficia, officia, orationes, et bona opera totius mundi, pro 
meis praesentibus et futuris animae et corporis neces- 
sitatibus; in auxilium et consolationem meam, et in 
remissionem omnium peccatorum meorum, quorum 
veram contritionem semper habeo et habere intendo, 
conor et cupio; omniumque vivorum et defunctorum 
meorum parentum, fratrum, sororum, consanguineorum, 
amicorum, inimicorum, benefactorum in spiritualibus et 
temporalibus, superiorum, subditorum, ac illorum, qui- 
bus fui gravamen, scandalum, et occasio peccandi; pro 
omni gradu Sanctae Catholicae Ecclesiae ac illius con- 
servatione, augmento et exaltatione; christianorum 
principum unione et concordia,*haeresum exstirpatione, 
summi Pontificis salute, et animarum in purgatorio 
existentium liberatione; pro conservatione et augmento 
omnium observantium religionum, pro conversione 
omnium infidelium nationum, pro mihi commissis et 
commendatis. Denique pro illis omnibus vivis atque 
defunctis, pro quibus Dominus noster Jesus Christus et 
ejus Beatissima Mater et Virgo Maria sciunt et volunt 

//. For Monday. 307 

me debere orare: sic oro et obsecro, sic consecrare et 
sacrificare intendo et propono, ac juxta intentionem 
Sanctae Catholicoe Ecclesiae et meorum Superiorum pro 
debito voluntatem. 

Ego N. minister, licet indignus. In nomine Patris et 
Filii et Spiritus Sancti. Amen. Cum intentione lu- 
crandi et acquirendi omnes quascumque possum indul- 

For Monday. 


Hoc facite in meam commemorationem. Lttc. xxii. 19. 
(Do this for a commemoration of me.) 

It is the opinion of sound theologians that by these 
words priests are bound, when celebrating Mass, to call 
to mind the Passion and death of Jesus Christ. And it 
seems the Apostle requires the name of those who com- 
m u n icate : Quotiescumque manducabitis panem hunc et calicem 
bibetis, mortem Domini annuntiabitis (i Cor. xi. 26). St. 
Thomas writes that for this very end the Redeemer has 
left us the most Holy Sacrament, namely, that we might 
ever remember the blessings that he has obtained for us 
and the love he has shown in dying for us: Ut autem 
tanti beneficii jugis in nobis maneret memoria, Corpus suum in 
cibum et Sanguine m in potum fidelibiis reliquit (Off. Ss. Sacr. 
lect. 4). And hence the most holy Sacrament is called, 
by the same holy Doctor, Passionis memorial f. 

Consider, therefore, O priest, that this most Holy 
Victim which you are about to sacrifice is that same 
Lord who gave his blood and his life for you. But the 
Holy Mass is not only the memorial of the Sacrifice of 
the Cross, it is the very same Sacrifice; for he who offers 
it, and the Victim offered, are the same, namely, the In 
carnate Word. The manner alone is different. The 

308 Preparation for Mass. 

one was a sacrifice of blood, this is unbloody; in the one 
Jesus Christ really died, in the other he dies mystically: 
Una eademque hostia, sola offerendi ratione diver sa ( Trident. 
Sess. xxii. c. 2). Imagine, therefore, when you celebrate, 
that you are on Calvary, and that you are offering to 
God the blood and the life of his Son. And when you 
communicate, imagine that you are drawing from the 
wounds of the Saviour his precious blood. 

Consider, moreover, that in every Mass the work of 
Redemption is renewed; so much so, that if Jesus Christ 
had not died once upon the Cross, the celebration of 
one Mass would procure for the world the very same 
blessings that we have received from the death of our 
Redeemer. Tantum valet (says St. John Chrysostom) 
celebratio Misstz quantum mors Chrisli in cruce. So that 
all the merits of the Passion are applied to men by 
means of the Sacrifice of the altar, and more abundantly 
to the priests who offer it. 

Hence St. Francis of Assisi (who considered himself 
unworthy of the priesthood, and therefore would never 
become a priest) exhorted priests to detach themselves 
from the things of the world, and to give themselves 
solely to the love and honor of their God, who had so 
greatly love and honored them; and he added that 
those priests were indeed exceedingly unhappy who, 
whilst they have Jesus so near to them on the altar, 
cherish in their hearts an attachment for anything of 
this world: Videte sacerdotes (these are the saint s words) 
dignitatem vestram ; et sicut super omnes propter hoc myste- 
rium honor avit vos Dominus, ita ct vos diligite eum, et honor- 
ate. Magna infirmitas, qiiando Jesum sic prcesentem habetis, 
et aliud in toto mundo curatts. 1 


O Lord! I am unworthy to appear before Thee; but 
encouraged by Thy goodness, who has chosen me in 
1 John H.rold, Dt Sand. s. 48. 

//. For Monday. 309 

spite of my unworthiness to be Thy priest, I come this 
morning to offer unto Thee Thy Son. I offer Thee, 
then, O my God! the spotless Lamb, in satisfaction for 
my sins and for those of all mankind. 

Ecce Agnus Dei. Here is the Lamb Thou didst behold 
one day sacrificed for Thy glory and for our salvation 
upon the altar of the Cross. For the love of this Vic 
tim, so dear to Thee, apply his merits to my soul, and 
pardon me all the offences, great and small, that I have 
committed against Thee. I grieve with my whole heart 
for having offended Thee, the Infinite Goodness. 

And Thou, my Jesus, come and wash away in Thy 
blood all my stains, ere I receive Thee this morning. 
Domine, -non sum digmis, lit intrcs sub tectum meum; sed tan- 
turn die 1 crbo, ct sanabitur anima mca. I am not worthy 
to receive Thee; but Thou, O heavenly physician, art 
able with one word to heal all my wounds. Come and 
heal me. 

Erravi sicut or is qua pcriit. I am that sheep who have 
wilfully chosen to damn myself, by flying away from 
Thee, my Redeemer; but Thou art the good shepherd, 
who hast given Thy life to save me. Qiiare servum tuum, 
quia mandata tua -non sum oblitus. Seek me, O my Jesus; 
do not abandon me. Seek me, and bind me on Thy 
shoulders, for I firmly purpose to serve and love Thee 
as much as I am able. 

Thou has said, Oves mcce vocem me am audiunt, et non 
rapid cas quisquc de manu mca. Thou art calling me to 
love Thee: behold, I leave all and come to Thee, my 
Life. I desire to obey Thee in all things. I renounce 
all the pleasures of the world, since Thou dost deign to 
give me this morning Thy most holy flesh to be my 

I love Thee, O my Jesus, above every good; and I de 
sire to receive Thee, in order to love Thee more. Thou 
givest Thyself wholly to me; I give myself all to Thee. 

3 1 o Preparation for Mass. 

Thou shalt be always my all, my only good, my only 

O Mary, my Mother, obtain for me a portion of that 
humility and fervor with which thou didst receive Jesus 
in thy Holy Communions. 

For Tuesday. 


Hie est Filius meus dilectus, in quo mihi benc complacui. Matt. xvii. 5. 
(This is ray beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased). 

In the Old Law, men honored God by many sacrifices; 
but in the New, God is more honored by one single 
Mass than by all the old sacrifices, for these were but 
the shadow and type of our Sacrifice of the altar. 

In the Holy Mass, God is honored as much as he de 
serves to be honored, since the same infinite honor is 
paid to him again that Jesus Christ paid to him when 
he sacrificed himself upon the Cross. One single Mass 
gives more honor to God than have given to him, or 
will give him all the prayers and penances of the saints, 
the labors of the apostles, all the torments of the mar 
tyrs and all the burning love of the seraphim and of 
the divine Mother. Now, it is this honor, O priest, 
which God desires to receive this morning from you. 

It is also just that God should be thanked for all the 
immense blessings which, in his infinite goodness, he 
has conferred upon us. But what fitting thanksgiving 
can we miserable creatures offer to him ? If the Lord 
had only but once shown us one single mark of affection, 
even then he would deserve an infinite thanksgiving 
from us, inasmuch as that affection is the gift and favor 
of an infinite God. But see he has given us a way of 
not remaining overwhelmed with confusion in the midst 
of such obligations, and of thanking him worthily. And 

///. For Tuesday. 3 1 1 

how? By offering to him Jesus in the Mass. In this 
way God is fully thanked and satisfied. 

This great Victim which is offered to him is his own 
very Son, in whom he finds his delight. The sacrifice 
is of the life of a God, who in the Consecration and in 
the Communion is sacrificed by a mystical death. It 
was in this way that David thanked God for all the 
graces he had received: Quid retribuam Domino pro omni 
bus qua retribuit mihil calicem salutaris acdpiam (Ps. cxv. 
13). And so Jesus himself thanked his divine Father 
for all the blessings conferred upon mankind: Et accepto 
calice gratias egit et dixit : Accipite, et dividite inter yos (Luke, 
xxii. 17). 


my God and my Creator, how couldst Thou choose 
me to honor Thee by means of the Sacrifice of Thy Son, 
when in past times I have so dishonored Thee by the 
insults I have offered Thee? Instead of punishing me 
in hell, Thou hast honored me in making me a priest 
and the minister of Thy glory. 

Since, then, Thou dost deign and art pleased to re 
ceive this great Sacrifice from my hands, I unite my 
poor heart to the Heart of Jesus Christ, and in his name 
I offer it to Thee, in acknowledgment of Thy supreme 

Would that I could see Thy infinite majesty adored 
and loved by all men! May the honor that I pay Thee 
this morning, in sacrificing to Thee Thy Son, make 
amends for all the dishonor that men have shown and 
show Thee by their sins! 

1 intend at the same time to thank Thee by this Mass 
for all the blessings conferred upon the world, and 
especially on me a miserable sinner, who have deserved 
for my ingratitude to be abandoned by Thee; for I have 
gone on multiplying my sins, and Thou hast continued 
to increase Thy graces to me. I thank Thee, O infinite 

312 Preparation for Mass. 

Goodness; rather I will say, Jesus Christ thanks Thee 
for me. 

Enlighten me, I beseech Thee, O Lord, this morning, 
through the merits of Jesus Christ; inflame me with 
Thy love, and detach me from the earth: do not allow 
me any longer to resist so many winning arts of Thy 
love. I love Thee, O Sovereign Good, with all my 
heart. I desire to leave all, in order to please Thee. O 
God, worthy of infinite love, make known to me, I pray 
Thee, more and more the greatness of Thy goodness, so 
that I may become evermore enamoured of Thee, and 
may labor to please Thee in all things without reserve. 

Thou hast shown Thyself enamoured of my soul, and 
shall I be able to love any but Thee? No, my Lord; 
henceforward I will live for Thee alone: I will love 
Thee only, who indeed deservest all my love. O Eternal 
Father, I hope in the blood of Jesus Christ that Thou 
by Thy grace wilt carry this my desire into effect. Thou 
hast shown me so many favors when I was flying away 
from Thee; much more then am I bound to hope from 
Thee, now that I seek and desire nought but Thy love. 
O Mary, my Mother, who carried in thy bosom that God 
whom I am going this morning to receive, help me to 
receive him with humility and love. 

For Wednesday. 


Ipse est propitiatio pro peccatis nostris. i John, ii. 2. 
(He is the propitiation for our sins.) 

Consider that the punishment due to sins is remitted 
by the Sacrifice of the altar, and immense benefits are 
obtained in favor of sinners. Unhappy should we be 
were there not this great Sacrifice to withhold the divine 
justice from inflicting those just chastisements that our 
sins deserve. It is certain that all the victims of the Old 

IV. For Wednesday. 313 

Law were not able to appease the indignation of God 
against sinners. Numquid placari potcst Dominus in mil- 
libus arictum? (Mich. vi. 7.) Even had the lives of all 
men and all angels been sacrificed, the divine justice 
would not have been worthily satisfied for one single 
sin committed by a creature against its Creator. Jesus 
Christ alone was able to make satisfaction for our sins. 
Ipsc est propitiatio pro peccatis nostris. And for this end 
the eternal Father sent him into the world, that by be 
coming mortal man he might appease for sinners. And 
this sacrifice is renewed in every Mass that is celebrated. 
Consider, therefore, O priest, your great office, to be 
the mediator between God and sinners, by offering 
upon the altar the life and merits of Jesus Christ, for 
the sake of which the Lord is moved to grant to sinners 
light and strength, and then the pardon of their sins: 
Hac oblatione placatus Dominus, gratiam ct donum pen nit en 
tice c once dens, crimina et peccata etiam ingentia dimittit ( Trid. 
Scss. xxii. c. 2). Oh, how much more powerfully does 
the voice of the innocent blood of the Redeemer cry out 
for pity on us, than did the blood of Abel cry out 
for vengeance against Cain! Accessistis ad Mediatorem 
Jcsiun, ct sanguinis aspcrsionem melius loquentem quam Abel 
(Hcb. xii. 22.) 


O great God, Thou art indignant against sinners, and 
with too great reason; for they repay Thee with in 
gratitude for all that great love Thou hast shown them. 
But if the sins of the world are great, greater is the 
offering and the gift which this morning I am about to 
present to Thee: Non sicut dclictum, ita ct donum (Rom. v. 
15). I offer to Thee this morning the Sacrifice of Thine 
own Son: may this Victim, so dear to Thee, appease 
Thee, and move Thee to have pity on all poor sinners, 
who either know Thee not, or if they know Thee, will 
not love Thee, and live deprived of Thy grace. Give 

3 r 4 Preparation for 11 lass. 

them light and strength to come out of the miserable 
state in which they are blindly living. 

I pray to Thee for all, but especially for myself who 
have been favored by Thee more highly than others, 
and who have been more ungrateful than others in 
offending and despising Thee. For the love of Jesus 
Christ, pardon me, O my God! all my sins, mortal and 
venial: all acts of impatience, my untruths, my intem 
perance, the distractions and negligences at Mass, in 
my Office, and in prayer. I repent of them all, because 
they have offended Thee, the infinite Goodness, who 
dost deserve from all men, but especially from me, a 
priest, infinite love. 

I love Thee, infinite Goodness; I love Thee above all 
things; and I promise Thee to be willing to die rather 
than wilfully to give Thee the slightest displeasure. 
Ah, rny Jesus, Thy death, Thy blood, are my hope. By 
Thy merits I ask of Thee and I hope for the grace to 
be faithful to Thee, and to love Thee with all my heart, 
and to love none but Thee. Most holy Mary, may thy 
assistance accompany me now that I go to offer this 
great Sacrifice to God. 

For Thursday. 


In omnibus divites facti estis in illo. i Cor. i. 5. 
(In all things you are made rich in Him.) 

Consider that by means of the Holy Mass Almighty 
God hears more quickly the prayers of his priests. God 
indeed at all times, as soon as he is asked through the 
merits of Jesus Christ, dispenses his graces; but St. 
John Chrysostom says that during the Holy Mass he 
dispenses them more abundantly at the prayers of the 
priest, because it is then that these prayers have greater 
weight, from* being united to the prayers of Jesus him- 

V. For Thursday. 315 

self, who is the chief priest, and who offers himself in 
this Sacrifice in order to obtain graces for us. 

According to the Council of Trent, 1 the time of the 
celebration of Mass is precisely that time in which the 
Lord is on the throne of grace, to which we are exhorted 
by the Apostle to have recourse, that we may obtain 
the Divine mercy and find grace: Adeamus ergo cum 
fiducia ad thro mini graliic, ut miscricordiain conscquamur, ct 
gratiam inveniamus in auxilio opportune (Hcb. iv. 16). 

St. John Chrysostom 2 says that the angels also wait 
for the time of Mass to intercede with greater efficacy 
in our favor; and he adds, that what is not obtained 
during Mass is with difficulty obtained at any other 

Oh, what treasures of graces may a priest obtain for 
himself and others if he beseeches the Lord with con 
fidence when he celebrates at the altar! The Venerable 
Father Antony de Colellis said: " When I am celebrating 
and hold in my hands my Jesus Christ, I obtain of him 
whatever I desire." 

In a word, St. Paul declares that in Jesus Christ we 
obtain all riches and every grace, if we ask the Father 
for them through his merits: In omnibus diritcs facti estis 
in illo; ita ut nihil vobis dcsit in ulla gratia (i Cor. i. 5, 7). 
But this is especially the case when the priest honors 
Almighty God and propitiates him by the sacrifice of 
his own Son. And if the Father precisely by means of 
the Mass gives us in the most Holy Sacrament this same 
Son who has been sacrificed to him, how can he, having 
given us his Son, deny us any other grace ? Quomodo 
-non ctiam cum illo omnia nobis donavit? (Rom. viii. 32.) 


O miserable being that I have been! how many graces 
have I lost, O my God, from having neglected to ask 

1 Sess. xxii. cap. ii. 2 De incomfr. Dei nat. horn. 3. 

3 1 6 Preparation for Mass. 

Thee for them in the Masses that I have celebrated! 
But since Thou now givest me light, I will no longer 
be negligent in this respect. I unite, then, O eternal 
Father, my prayers with those of Jesus Christ; and for 
the love of this Thy Son, whom this morning I am going 
to sacrifice to Thee, I pray Thee, in the first place, to 
grant me pardon for all my sins, of which I repent 
with my whole heart: and then make me know how in 
finitely Thou art deserving of being loved, and the im 
mense obligation I am under of loving Thee for Thy 
goodness and the love Thou hast borne me: and give 
me strength to detach myself from all earthly affections, 
and to occupy my heart in the love of Thee alone, the 
sovereign Good, who hast loved me so much. 

I pray Thee also to enlighten those who know Thee 
not, and who are living deprived of Thy grace. Give 
to all the gift of Thy grace. Give to all the gift of Thy 
holy fear. O infinite love of my God, make Thyself 
known, make Thyself loved. 

And do Thou, my dear Saviour, make me wholly 
Thine before I die, and do not allow me to be ever 
again separated from Thee. Ah, my Jesus, as long as 
I live I am in this danger. I do not wish to lose Thee 
more. Beg of Thy Father to let me die sooner than to 
turn my back on Thee again. Beg of him to bind me 
ever more closely- to Thyself, who hast in so many ways 
obliged me to love Thee. My Jesus, Thou art my love 
and my hope. Grant that every time I behold Thee on 
the altar I may say to Thee with my whole heart that 
which St. Philip Neri said when he saw Thee in the 
most Holy Sacrament " Behold my love, behold my 
love, behold all my love." Most Holy Mary, do thou 
also pray for me. I am a priest. Make me by thy in 
tercession that which a priest ought to be, all for Jesus 

VI. For Friday. 3 1 7 

For Friday. 


Accipite et comedite ; hoc est corpus meuin- Matt. xxvi. 26. 
(Take ye, and eat: This is My body.) 

Consider that a priest who says Mass with devotion 
is in a special manner sanctified by it; for in the Mass 
he is admitted to an audience with the divine Majesty, 
and he converses familiarly with the Incarnate Word: 
it is then that he holds him in his hands, and speaks 
to him confidentially, without ceremony and without 

Moreover, it is then that he is allowed to feed himself 
with his own hands on the most holy flesh of Jesus 
Christ, and to drink his blood; since it was to priests 
especially that the Redeemer said: Accipite ct comedite; 
hoc est corpus meum. 

The holy Communion is given also to lay persons, 
but they are not allowed to take the most holy Sacra 
ment themselves, and to communicate whenever they 
please: they are obliged to receive Communion from 
the hands of the priest, and when the priest is pleased 
to give it to them; but the priest can take Jesus Christ 
and communicate himself when he pleases. 

Our Lord when speaking of the Sacraments, and 
especially of the Eucharist, forbade his priests to give it 
to sinners: Nolite dare sanctum canibus, neque ponatis mar- 
gar -itis vestras ante porcos (Matt. vii. 6) . Margaritas vestras: 
by pearls are signified the consecrated particles but 
observe the word vestras: this shows that the Sacrament 
of the Altar is, as it were, the property of the priest; 
for the priest takes it out of the tabernacle when he 
pleases, carries it where he likes; he feeds himself on it 
when he wills, and gives it to whom he wills. In a 
word, the priest holds the keys of all the divine treas- 

318 Preparation for Mass, 

tires, to make use of them when he likes; for as St. John 
Chrysostom says, in the most Holy Sacrament there is 
the whole treasure of the goodness of God: Dicendo 
Eucharistiam, omnem benignitatis Dei thcsauruin apcrio. 
So that it seems when the priest celebrates he makes 
himself in a certain way the master of Jesus in the 
Blessed Sacrament: De toto Deo dives est. 

Jesus Christ, then, belongs wholly to priests: but how 
many priests are there who belong wholly to Jesus 
Christ? O God! the greater number of them, how do 
they love their Saviour who has so loved and exalted 
them? O God, how many poor country people are 
there, poor peasants, who love Jesus Christ more than 
so many priests ! Alas, what suffering for a priest who 
is damned, when in hell he shall find himself forever at 
a distance and separated from Jesus Christ, who on this 
earth was so near to him, and belonged entirely to him! 


O my dear Jesus, Thou didst make Thyself a Victim 
on the Cross that Thou mightest be sacrificed by me 
upon the altar, and mightest fill me with Thy divine 
blood. In short, in making me Thy priest, Thou hast 
made Thyself all mine; Thou hast given Thyself entirely 
to me; so that I can take Thee when I will, and feed 
myself on Thee when I will. 

My beloved Redeemer, increase my faith; make me 
know who Thou art, when I hold Thee hidden in the 
Sacrament in my hands; when Thou art close to me on 
the altar; when I place Thy body in my mouth, and 
approach my lips to Thy blood. How is it that I do 
not burn with love in thinking of Thee who art my 
God, and who art pleased to be treated with such famil 
iarity by me, as even to become my meat and drink ? 
Thou wert not satisfied in giving all Thy blood and Thy 
life upon the Cross for love of me: it is Thy will that I 

VII. For Saturday. 3 1 9 

should drink this very blood, in order to unite myself 
and to become one with Thee. Ipsa re nos suiim efficit cor 
pus, says St. John Chrysostom. 1 

Enlighten me, I beseech Thee, O my God, and help 
me to be no longer ungrateful to Thine exceeding love. 
Detach me from the earth. Grant that I may no longer 
put any obstacles to the abundance of graces which 
Thou dost dispense to those who receive Thee with 
love in holy Communion. I love Thee, my Jesus, who 
died for me and hast become my food. Eternal Father, 
by the merits of Jesus Christ, whom I am about to 
offer to Thee this morning, give me all those graces 
which I require in order to be wholly Thine. And 
do thou, most holy Mary, pray to Jesus for me. 


For Saturday. 


Festinans descende; quia hodie in domo tua oportet me manere. Luc. xix. 5. 
(Make haste and come down, for this day I must abide in thy house.) 

Imagine that Jesus Christ says to you this morning 
those very words which he once addressed to Zaccheus: 
" Be quick, come to the altar; for I desire this day to 
enter into the house of your soul, to preserve its life, to 
heal its wounds, to inflame it with My love," All this 
is done by the divine Sacrament. It is this bread that 
gives life to the soul: Panis quern ego dabo, caro mca cst 
pro mundi vita (John, vi. 52). It is the medicine that 
frees and preserves us from sins. Antldotiim quo libere- 
mur a culpis quotidianis, ct a pcccatis mortalibus prccservemur 
(Trid. Sess. xiii. c. 2). It is the fire that inflames the 
soul with holy love, so that we all (as St. John Chrysos 
tom says), if only we place no obstacle, should leave the 
altar flam mam spir antes, tcrribiles effecti diabolo? 

1 Ad pop. Ant. horn. 60. Ad pop. Ant. horn. 61. 

320 Preparation for Mass. 

But, O my God, how is it that so many priests who 
every morning feed on this heavenly bread, instead of 
burning with divine love, are seen to be always more 
attached to the world, and go always to the altar with 
the very same wilful venial sins? All proceeds from 
this, that they go to say Mass without the intention 
and the desire of becoming saints, or else for interested 
motives, or by way of routine. And therefore they 
always commit the same faults; and so they approach 
their death, and go to give an account to Jesus Christ 
of the lukewarm and disorderly way in which their 
whole priestly life was passed. 

O priest! if you are one of these, consider that this 
heavenly bread will not help you to become a saint, but 
will, through your own fault, make }ou more guilty be 
fore the divine tribunal. Amend your life; consider 
that death is nigh. Consider those attachments and 
those faults that hinder your progress in the divine 
love, and do away with them. Remember that you are 
a priest; remember that God has chosen you for his 
favorite, and that he could not have made you greater. 


O God of infinite majesty, Thou wiliest to come this 
morning to lodge in my soul; but those houses in which 
Thou art pleased to dwell ought to be holy: Domum 
tuam decct sanctitudo, Domine (Ps. xcii. 5). How shall I, 
who am so imperfect and so full of faults, be able to re 
ceive Thee? Domine, non sum dignus ut intrcs sub tectum 

Ah, my Redeemer, if I had now to appear before Thy 
judgment-seat, what good account could I render Thee 
of so many Masses said, and of the years during which 
I have been a priest? Wait, O Lord, do not judge me 
yet: Non intres in judicium cum servo tuo. For pity s sake, 
wait for me yet a little while: Dimitte me, ut plangam 

VII. For Saturday. 321 

pauliilum dolorem meum, antequam vadam, et non revertar. 
Prolong my life still a while, that I may weep over the 
ingratitude with which I have treated Thee, O my Jesus, 
up to the present time. Thou hast made me a priest; 
but what kind of priestly life have I hitherto led ? With 
so many Masses and Communions, I ought to have be 
come all on fire with Thy love, all pure and holy. Thou 
hast not failed on Thy part; the failure has been through 
my own fault, and because of the obstacles I have thrown 
in the way of Thy grace. My life has not honored 
Thee no, but has dishonored Thee in the sight of 
heaven and earth. Thou hast snatched me out of the 
world, and I have loved the world more than worldlings 
themselves. Have mercy on me, O my God! Do not 
abandon me, for I desire to amend my life. I repent 
with my whole heart of all the displeasure I have given 
Thee. I will begin to love Thee truly; I will begin this 
very morning, on which I am again about to receive 

I love Thee, O God of my soul; I love Thee, my 
Saviour, who, in order to save me, and to make me Thy 
priest, didst give Thy life: Domine, non sum dignus ut in- 
tres sub tectum meum,scdtantum dicverbo et sanabitur anima 
mca. Pardon me, O my Jesus, and heal me. Detach 
me from the world, and bind me closely to Thyself; 
make me live as a priest, Thou who hast made me a 
priest. Thy merits, my dear Redeemer, are my hope. 
Eternal Father, this morning I offer to Thee Jesus 
Christ, that Thou mayest make me all Thine own. 
Most holy Mary, pray to Jesus for me. 


l)ank0gitring after ^olji iHass for ct)er ftlaji in tljc 


For Sunday. 

MY dear Jesus, my Redeemer and my God! before 
celebrating I adored Thee in heaven, considering Thee 
in Thy glory enthroned at the right hand of Thy eternal 
Father: now I adore Thee hidden within my breast 
under the humble appearances of bread and wine, and 
thus made the meat and drink of my soul. 

Welcome, my Lord, to my soul. I thank Thee with 
my whole heart: would that I could thank Thee as 
Thou dese rvest! But what fitting thanksgiving could a 
poor peasant offer who should behold his king enter 
into his cabin to visit him ? he could but cast himself at 
his feet, and remain there prostrate in silence, in astonish 
ment, and in thankfulness for this condescension. I 
cast myself, therefore, at Thy feet, O my divine King, 
O my Jesus, and I adore Thee from the depths of my 
misery. I unite my adoration to that which the Most 
Holy Mary offered Thee when she received Thee into 
her most sacred womb: and would that I could also love 
Thee as she loved Thee! 

Ah, my Redeemer, in obedience to my words, Thou 
hast this morning come down from heaven into my 
hands; and I, how often by disobeying Thy command 
ments have I ungratefully turned my back upon Thee, 
and have renounced Thy grace and Thy love! My 
Jesus, I hope that now at this moment Thou hast for 
given me; but if through my fault Thou hast not yet 
pardoned me, pardon me this morning; for I repent 

/. For Sunday. 323 

with my whole heart of having offended Thee, O In 
finite Goodness. 

my Jesus, would that I had always loved Thee! 
At least from the day on which I said my first Mass I 
should have burned with love for Thee. Thou hast 
chosen me from the midst of so many millions of men 
to be Thy priest, Thy favorite: what couldst Thou have 
done more to make Thyself beloved by me ? But I 
thank Thee, my love, that Thou givest me time to do 
that which I have not done. I wish to love Thee with 
all* my heart. No, I will not cherish in my heart any 
affection save for Thee, who hast so greatly obliged me 
to love Thee. 

Deus meus ct oinnia. O my God, what are riches, 
honors, the pleasures of the world! Thou art my All. 
Thou shalt be henceforth my only good, my only love. 
I will say to Thee with St. Paulinus, Sibi habcant divitias 
suas divitcs, regna sua rcges : mihi Christus gloria et regnum 
cst. Let the kings and rich ones of this world delight 
indeed in their kingdoms and in their riches; Thou 
alone, O my Jesus, shalt be my treasurer and my king 

Eternal Father, for the love of that Son whom I have 
this morning sacrificed to Thee and received into my 
heart, give me holy perseverance in Thy grace and the 
gift of Thy holy love. I recommend to Thee again all 
my relatives, friends, and enemies. I recommend to 
Thee the souls in Purgatory, and all poor sinners. 1 

1 This prayer (Eternal Father, etc.) should be repeated everyday 
after Mass. It will also be well to recite each day the following In 
vocations, Aninia Christi, etc., and repeat three times with particular 
fervor the verse, Ne pernrittas me scparari a tc. They are enriched 
with many indulgences. (Note by the author.) Above, on page 286, 
the Invocations of St. Ignatius are given as they are in the Raccolia; 
we, however, give them here as St. Alphonsus quotes them in his 
opuscule, with the other prayers that he adds at the end. 

324 Thanksgiving after Mass. 

Most Holy Mary, my Mother, do thou obtain for me 
holy perseverance and the love of Jesus Christ. 


Anima Christi sanctissima, sanctifica me 
Corpus Christi sacratissimum, custodi me 
Sanguis Christi pretiosissime, inebria me 
Aqua lateris Christi purissima, lava me. 
Passio Christi amarissima, conforta me. 
O bone Jesu! exaudi me: 
Intra vulnera tua absconde me. 
Ne permittas me separari a te. 
Ab hoste maligno defende me. 
In hora mortis meae voca me. 
Et jube me venire ad te. 

Ut cum Sanctis et Angelis tuis collaudem te. 
Per infinita saecula saeculorum.. Amen. 




ADJUVET nos gratia tua, omnipotens Deus, ut, qui 
officium sacerdotale suscepimus, digne ac devote tibi in 
omni puritate et conscientia bona famulari valeamus; 
et si non possumus in tanta innocentia vitae conversari 
ut debemus, concede nobis tamen, digne flere mala, quae 
gessimus, et, in spiritu humilitatis ac bonce voluntatis 
proposito tibi ferventius de caetero deservire. 


O serenissima et inclyta Virgo Maria, Mater Domini 

nostri Jesu Christi, Regina cceli et terrse, quae eumdem 

Creatorem omnium creaturarum in tuo sancto utero 

digna fuisti portare, cujus idem veracissimum corpus et 

sanguinem ego indignus sumere praesumpsi! rogo te, 

Thomas ci Ktmtis, Imit. C/ir. 1. iv. c. ir. 

/. For Sunday. 325 

per virginalem humilitatem tuam et per passionem et 
mortem ejusdem Filii tui, lit apud ipsum pro me misero 
peccatore intercedere digneris: ut quidquid in hoc 
sacrosancto Sacrificio irreverenter, ignoranter, negli- 
genter, vel incaute commisi, aut etiam omisi, tuis sanc- 
tissimis precious mihi dignetur indulgere. Amen. 


Rogo te, Domine Jesu, per ilia salutifera vulnera tua, 
qua; passus es in cruce pro salute nostra, ex quibus 
emanavit ille pretiosus sanguis, quo sumus redempti, 
vulnera hanc animam meam peccatricem, pro qua etiam 
mori dignatus es; vulnera earn igneo et potentissimo 
telo tuae nimise charitatis. Confige cor meum jaculo 
tui amoris, ut dicat tibi anima mea: Charitate tua vul- 
nerata sum, ita ut ex ipso vulnere amoris tui uberrimae 
fluant lacrymae die ac nocte. Percute, Domine, percute, 
obsecro, hanc durissimam mentem meam pia et valida 
cuspide dilectionis tuae, et altius ad intima penetra po- 
tenti virtute. Oui vivis et regnas Deus, in saecula saecu- 
lorum. Amen. 



Salve, tremendum cunctis potestatibus Caput Domini 
nostri Jesu Christi, Salvatoris nostri, pro nobis corona- 
turn et arundine percussum! Salve, pretiosissima Sal 
vatoris nostri Jesu Christi Facies, pro nobis sputis et 
alapis caesa! Salvete, benignissimi Domini Jesu Christi, 
Salvatoris nostri, Oculi, pro nobis lacrymis perfusi! 
Salve, mellinuum Os, guttuque suavissimum Domini 
nostri Jesu Christi, pro nobis felle et aceto potatum! 
Salvete, Aures nobilissimae Domini Jesu Christi, Sal 
vatoris nostri, pro nobis contumeliis et opprobriis affec- 
tae! Salve, Collum humile Jesu Christi, pro nobis 
colaphyzatum, Dorsumque sanctissimum, pro nobis 

326 Tha n ksgiving after Mass. 

flagellatum! Salvete, venerabiles Domini nostri Jesu 
Christi Manus et Brachia, pro nobis in cruce extensa! 
Salve, Pectus mitissimum Domini nostri Jesu Christi, 
Salvatoris nostri, pro nobis in passione conturbatum! 
Salve, Latus gloriosum Domini nostri Jesu Christi, pro 
nobis lancea militis perforatum! Salvete, Domini Jesu 
Christi, Salvatoris nostri, sacra- misericordiae Genua, 
pro nobis in orationibus flexa! Salvete, Domini Jesu 
Christi, Salvatoris nostri, Pedes adorandi, pro nobis 
clavis affixi! Salve, totum Corpus Jesu Christi, pro 
nobis in cruce suspensum, vulneratum, mortuum et 
sepultum! Salve, Sanguis pretiosissime, de corpore 
Jesu Christi, Salvatoris nostri pro nobis effusus! Salve, 
sanctissima Domini nostri Jesu Christi Anima, in cruce 
pro nobis in manus Patris comirendata! 

In eadem commendatione- tibi commendo hodie et 
quotidie animam meam, vitam ineam, cor et corpus 
meum, omnes sensus et actus meos, omnes amicos, bene- 
factores et consanguineos meos, animas parentum, 
fratrum, sororum, et omnium amicorum, ac inimicorum 
meorum: tit nos protcgere, liberare et defendere dig- 
neris ab omnibus insidiis inimicorum nostrorum, visi- 
bilium et invisibilium, nunc et in perpetuum. Amen. 


For Monday. 

O infinite Goodness! O infinite Love! A God has 
given himself wholly to me, and has made himself all 
mine! Unite, O my soul, all thy affections and bind 
thyself to thy Lord, who has come on purpose to unite 
himself to thee and to be loved by thee. 

My dear Redeemer, I embrace Thee; my treasure, my 

"life, I bind myself to Thee; do not Thou disdain me. 

Miserable being that I am, hitherto I have driven Thee 

from my soul, and have separated myself from Thee. 

But for the future I will rather lose my life a thousand 

II. For Monday. 327 

times than lose Thee, my sovereign Good. Forget, O 
Lord, my many offences against Thee, and pardon me. 
I repent with my whole soul; would that I could die 
with grief ! 

But notwithstanding my offences, I feel that Thou art 
bidding me to love Thee: Diliges Dominum Deum tnum 
ex toto corde. Ah, my Lord, who am I, that Thou dost 
so greatly desire to be loved by me ? But if this indeed 
be Thy desire, I wish to please Thee. Thou didst die 
for me, Thou hast given Thy flesh to be my food. I 
leave all; I bid farewell to all; and I embrace Thee, my 
beloved Saviour: Quis me separabit a caritate Christi? 

My beloved Redeemer, and whom shall I desire to 
love, if I love not Thee, who art infinite Beauty, infinite 
Goodness, worthy of infinite love ? Quid mihi est in coelo? 
et a te quid volui super t err am ? Deus cordis met, et pars 
mea Deus in ceternum. Yes, my God, where can I find in 
heaven or on earth a good greater than Thyself, or one 
who has loved me more than Thou ? 

Adveniat regnum tuum. Take possession, I beseech 
Thee, my Jesus, this very morning, of my whole heart; 
I give it all to Thee. Do Thou possess it always and 
entirely: banish from it every love that is not for Thee. 
Thee alone do I choose for my portion and my riches. 
Deus cordis met, et pars mea Deus in cetermtm. Suffer me 
to beg and to ask of Thee always with St. Ignatius 
Loyola, Amorem tui solum cum gratia tua mihi dones, et 
dives sum satis. Give me Thy love and Thy grace; that 
is, grant that I may love Thee and be loved by Thee, 
and with this I am rich enough; I desire and ask Thee 
for nothing more. 

But Thou knowest my weakness, Thou knowest my 
past treachery; help me with Thy grace, and do not 
allow me ever again to separate myself from Thy holy 
love: Ne permittas me separari a te. I say it to Thee now, 
and I desire to repeat it always; and do Thou give me 

328 Thanksgiving after Mass. 

the grace to be able always to repeat it: Ne permittas me, 
ne permittas me separari a te. 

Mary, most holy, my hope, do thou obtain for me 
from God these two graces holy perseverance and 
holy love. I ask thee for nothing more. 

For Tuesday. 

Ah, my Lord, how could I have so many times offended 
Thee by my sins, when I knew that sin so greatly dis 
pleased Thee! Pardon me, I beseech Thee, by the 
merits of Thy Passion, and bind me by Thy love wholly 
to Thyself: let not the stench of my sins drive Thee 
from me. Make me, I pray Thee, know always more 
and more how great a good Thou art, the love Thou de- 
servest, and the affection Thou hast borne me. 

I desire, my Jesus, to sacrifice myself entirely to Thee, 
who didst sacrifice Thyself wholly for me. Thou by so 
many artifices hast bound me to Thyself; do not allow 
me ever again to disjoin myself from Thee. I love Thee, 
my God, and I will love Thee always. And now that I 
have known Thy love, how should I be able to live any 
longer at a distance from Thee and deprived of Thy 
grace ? 

I thank Thee for having borne with me when I was 
not in Thy grace, and for now giving me time to love 
Thee. If I had died then, I could never have loved Thee 
more. But now that I am able to love Thee, I have the 
will to love Thee, O my Jesus, as much as I am able 
and I desire to do everything to please Thee. I love 
Thee, infinite Goodness, I love Thee more than my 
self; and because I love Thee I give Thee my body, 
my soul, and my whole will. Do with me and dis 
pose of me, O Lord, as Thou wilt: I accept all. 
Enough, if Thou allowest me to love Thee always; Task 
Thee for nothing more. Give to those who wish for 

I]/. For Wednesday. 329 

them the goods of this earth: I desire and seek for 
nought but perseverance in Thy grace, and Thy holy 

O eternal Father, trusting in the promise made me by 
Thy Son, Amen, amen, dico vobis, si quid petieritis Patrem 
in nomine meo, dabit vobis (Jo/in, xvi. 23), I ask of Thee, in 
the name of Jesus Christ, holy perseverance, and the 
grace to love Thee with my whole heart, and perfectly 
to fulfil henceforward Thy will. O my Jesus, Thou 
hast sacrificed Thyself wholly for me, and hast given 
me Thyself, in order that I should give myself to Thee, 
and sacrifice my entire will to Thee: for I hear Thee 
saying to me, Prccbe, fili mi, cor tuum mihi (Prov. xxiii. 


Behold, O Lord, behold my heart, my will; I give and 
sacrifice it all to Thee. But Thou knowest how weak I 
am: come to my assistance; suffer me not to take back 
again my will from Thee, by sinning against Thee. No, 
do not let it be: make me love Thee always, make me 
love Thee as much as a priest ought to love Thee: and 
as Thy Son when dying was able to say, Consummatum 
est, grant that I also at my death may be able to say, 
that from this day forward I have fulfilled Thy holy 
will. Grant that in all temptations and danger of offend 
ing Thee, I may never cease to have recourse to Thee, 
and to beg Thee to assist me by the merits of Jesus 

O Mary, most holy, obtain for me this grace, to rec 
ommend myself always in temptations to God and to 
thyself, who art all-powerful with God. 


For Wednesday. 

Ah! my Jesus, I see how much Thou hast done and 
suffered for me, to put me under the necessity of loving 
Thee; and I have been so ungrateful to Thee! How 

330 Than ksgiving after Mass. 

many times, for the sake of some miserable pleasure or 
fancy, have I bartered away Thy grace, and have lost 
Thee, O God of my soul! I have been grateful enough 
to creatures; to Thee alone have I shown ingratitude. 
My dear God, pardon me: I am sorry; I grieve with my 
whole heart, and I hope for pardon from Thee, because 
Thou art infinite goodness. If Thou wert not infinite 
goodness, I should lose hope, and I should not even 
have the courage to ask Thee to have mercy on me. 

I thank Thee, my love, for not having sent me to hell, 
as I deserved; and for having borne with me so long a 
time. Ah, Thy patience with me, O my God, should 
alone suffice to fill me with love to Thee. And who in 
deed but Thou, who art a God of infinite mercy, would 
have borne with me? I see that Thou hast been follow 
ing me for so long, in order that I should love Thee. I 
will no longer resist Thy love: behold, I give myself up 
entirely to Thee. I have offended Thee enough; now I 
wish to love Thee. I love Thee, my sovereign Good; I 
love Thee, infinite Goodness; I love Thee, my God, 
worthy of infinite love; and I desire to repeat, in time 
and in eternit)^ I love Thee, I love Thee. 

Alas, O God, how many years have I lost, in which I 
might have loved Thee and have gained an increase of 
Thy love; and I have spent them in offending Thee! 
But Thy blood, O my Jesus, is my hope. I hope it will 
never be my lot again to cease to love Thee. I know 
not how long I have still to live; but the years that re 
main to me, be they few or many, I consecrate entirely 
to Thee. For this end Thou hast waited for me until 
now. Yes, my beloved Lord, I wish to please Thee; I 
wish to love Thee always, and to love Thee alone. 
What are pleasures, riches, honors? Thou alone, my 
God, Thou alone, art and shalt be always, my love, my 

But I can do nothing except Thou helpest me by Thy 

V. For TJmrsday. 331 

grace. Wound, I beseech Thee, my heart; inflame it 
wholly with Thy holy love, and bind it entirely to Thy 
self; but so bind it that it can never separate itself 
again from Thee. Thou hast promised to love those 
who love Thee: Ego diligentes me diligo (Prov. viii. 17). 
Now I love Thee: forgive my boldness, love me in re 
turn, and do not allow me to do anything that would 
force Thee to cease to love me: Qui non diligit, manct in 
mortc (i John, iii. 14). Deliver me from this death, to 
remain deprived of the power of loving Thee. Make 
me love Thee always, in order that Thou mayest be 
always able to love me: and thus may our love be ever 
lasting, and may no breach occur between me and Thee 
Grant it, O eternal Father, for the love of Jesus Christ. 
Grant it, my Jesus, by Thy merits: through them I hope 
to love Thee always, and to be always loved by Thee 
Mary, Mother of God and my Mother, do thou also pray 
to Jesus for me. 


For Thursday. 

O God of infinite Majesty, behold at Thy feet a traitor 
who has so often offended Thee. Thou hast so many 
times pardoned me, and I, notwithstanding the graces 
and lights that Thou hast given me, have begun again 
to offend Thee. Others have sinned in the midst of 
darkness, I in the midst of light: but listen to this Thy 
Son, whom I have this morning sacrificed to Thee, and 
who now is reposing within my breast. He is asking of 
Thee mercy and pardon for me. Pardon me for the 
love of Jesus Christ; for I repent with my whole heart 
of having offended Thee, the infinite Goodness. 

know that, for the love of Jesus Christ, Thou art 
pleased to make peace with sinners: Complacmt per eum 
rcconcihare omma in ipsum (Coloss. \. 20). For the love 
then, of Jesus Christ, be reconciled also to me: Nc p> 


332 Thanksgiving after Mass. 

jicias me a facie tua : Drive me not away from Thy face, 
as I should have deserved; pardon me, and change my 
heart: Cor mundum crea in me, Deus. Do so at least for 
Thine honor s sake, since Thou hast made me Thy 
priest, Thy minister, whose office it is to sacrifice to 
Thee Thine own Son. Make me live as a priest. Con 
sume, I pray Thee, in the flames of Thy holy love, and 
destroy within me, all earthly affections. Grant that 
henceforth I may be grateful for the many graces Thou 
hast bestowed on me, and for the exceeding love Thou 
hast borne me. If in past tim-e I have despised Thy 
friendship, now I value it more than all the kingdoms 
of the world, and I prefer that which pleases Thee to 
all the riches and pleasures of heaven and earth. 

O my Father, for the love of Jesus Christ, detach 
me from all things. It is Thy will that Thy priests 
should be wholly separated from the world, in order to 
live for Thee alone, and for the things of Thy glory: 
Segregate mi hi Saulum et Barnabam in opus ad quod assumpsi 
eos (Acts, xiii. 2). The same I know is Thy will for me. 
I resolve to do it; but do Thou help me with Thy grace. 
Draw me wholly to Thyself. Give me patience and res 
ignation in difficulties and in contradictions. Give me 
the spirit of mortifying myself for Thy love. Give me 
the spirit of true humility, that I may even rejoice in 
being considered vile and full of faults: Doce me facere 
voluntatem tuam : Teach me to do Thy will, and then tell 
me what Thou wiliest of me, for I will do all. Allow, 
O my God, a sinner to love Thee, who in past times has 
offended Thee too much, but who now desires to love 
Thee truly, and to be wholly Thine. O eternal God, I 
hope to love Thee forever; and therefore also I wish to 
love Thee exceedingly in this life, that I may love Thee 
exceedingly in eternity. 

And because I love Thee, I would see Thee known 
and loved by all. And therefore, O Lord, since Thou 

VI. For Friday. 333 

hast made me Thy priest, give me the grace to labor for 
Thee, and to gain Thee souls. I hope for all, through 
Thy merits, O my Jesus Christ, and through thy inter 
cession, O my Mother Mary. 

For Friday. 

My Jesus, haw couldst Thou choose me for Thy priest 
from the midst of so many men ? me, who have so 
often turned my back on Thee and despised Thy grace 
for a mere nothing? I am sorry for it, my beloved 
Saviour, from my whole soul. Tell me, hast Thou par 
doned me ? I hope so. Yes, Thou hast been my Re 
deemer, not once only, but as often as Thou hast par 
doned me. O my Saviour, would that I had never 
offended Thee! Let me hear those words Thou didst 
say to Magdalene: Remittuntur tibi peccata tua. Let me 
hear that Thou hast reinstated me in Thy grace, in 
giving me a great sorrow for my "sins. 

/// inanits titas commendo spiritum meum; redemisti me, 
Dominc, Dens vcritatis. Ah, my divine Shepherd, Thou 
didst come down from heaven to seek after me, the lost 
sheep; and every day Thou descendest on the altar for 
my good. Thou hast given Thy life to save me. Do not 
abandon me. I commend my soul into Thy hands: re 
ceive it in Thy mercy, and never allow it to be sepa 
rated again from Thee. 

Thou didst shed all Thy blood for me: Te ergo, quce- 
sumus, tuis famulis subvcni, quos pretioso sanguine redemisti. 
Thou art now my advocate. Thou hast not yet become 
my judge. Obtain for me pardon from Thy Father. 
Obtain for me light and strength to love Thee with my 
whole soul. Give me the grace so to pass the remain 
ing days of my life, that when I behold Thee as my 
judge I may behold Thee appeased with me. 

Reign over my heart, I beseech Thee, with Thy love; 

334 Thanksgiving after Mass. 

make me wholly Thine; and for this end, recall to me 
always, my dear Saviour, the love Thou hast borne me, 
and all that Thou hast done to save me, and to make 
Thyself loved by me. It was for this that Thou hast 
made me a priest, that I should think of loving none but 

Yes, my Jesus, I desire to please Thee: I love Thee, 
and will love none but Thee. Give me humility, resig 
nation in the trials of this life, meekness when I am 
despised, mortification to earthly pleasures, and detach 
ment from creatures, and grant that I may banish from 
my heart every affection that does not tend to Thee. I 
ask and hope for all through the merits of Thy passion. 
My dear Jesus, my beloved Jesus, O my good Jesus, 
hear Thou me: O bone Jesu, exaudi me. 

And do thou, O Mary, my Mother and my hope, hear 
me, and pray to Jesus for me. 

For Saturday. 

My dear Jesus, Thou hast come again this morning to 
visit my soul: I thank Thee with all my heart. Since 
Thou hast come, speak to me, tell me what Thou wiliest 
of me, for I desire to do all. I should deserve that Thou 
didst no longer speak to me, for having so many times 
been deaf to Thy voice, which called me to love Thee, 
and for having ungratefully turned my back upon Thee. 
But I have already repented of my offences against 
Thee: I repent anew, and I hope that Thou hast already 
pardoned me. Tell me, then, what Thou desirest of me, 
for I will fulfil all. 

Oh, would that I had always loved Thee, my God! 
Unhappy that I am, how many years have I lost! But I 
hope, through Thy blood and Thy promises, to make 
up in future for the time I have lost, by attending solely 
to Thy love and pleasure. 

VII. For Saturday. 335 

I love Thee, my Redeemer; I love Thee, my God; T 
long for nothing but to love Thee with all my heart, and 
even to die for the love of Thee, who died for love of 
me. I will say to Thee with St. Francis: Amore amoris 
tui moriar, qui amore amoris met dignatus es mori. Thou, 
my Jesus, hast given Thyself wholly to me; Thou hast 
given me all Thy blood, Thy life, all Thy sweat, all Thy 
merits. Thou hast nothing left to give me: I give my 
self all to Thee. I give Thee all my satisfactions, all 
the pleasures of the earth, my body, my soul, my will. I 
have nothing more to give Thee: had I more, I would 
give Thee more. My dear Jesus, Thou art sufficient for 

But do Thou, O Lord, make me faithful to Thee: do 
not let me change my will and leave Thee. I hope 
through Thy Passion, O my Saviour, that this will never 
happen. Thou hast said, Nullus speravit in Domino et 
confusus est (Ecclns. ii. n). I also, therefore, may reso 
lutely say: In te, Domine, speravi; non confundar in czter- 
mcm. I hope, and I will always hope, O God of my 
soul, that I shall never suffer the confusion of seeing my 
self separated from Thee, and deprived of Thy grace: 
In te, Domine, speravi; non confundar in (zternum. 

Thou, my God, art all-powerful. Make me holy: 
grant that I may love Thee exceedingly, that I may 
never neglect anything that I know to be for Thy gloty. 
Grant that I may overcome all, in order to please Thee. 
Happy shall I be, if I lose all, to gain Thee and Thy 
love. For this end Thou hast given me my life. Grant 
that I may spend it wholly for Thee. I do not deserve 
graces, but punishments: and I say to Thee, punish me 
as Thou wilt, but do not deprive me of Thy love. Thou 
hast loved me without reserve. I wish to love Thee 
without reserve, O infinite Good, infinite love. O will 
of God, thou art my love. O my Jesus, Thou didst die 

336 Thanksgiving after Mass. 

for me. O would that I could die for Thee, and by my 
death cause all men to love Thee! O infinite Good, 
worthy of infinite love, I prize Thee and love Thee above 
all things. O Mary, draw me wholly to God; give me 
confidence in thyself, and make me have continual re 
course to thee. Thou, by thy prayers, must make me 
holy. So I hope. 

preparation for iltass anb Sfyankegimng. 


These exercises, put into the last place, were added by 
the saintly author as a "second part" to the treatise on 
the Ceremonies of the Mass, and appear to have been 
composed at the same time. We give here the full title: 
" The respect, the preparation, and thanksgiving that 
priests should practise in order to derive fruit from the 
celebration of Mass." To this we subjoin Acts, Aspira 
tions, and Prayers. ED. 



ALL the great good that the Passion of Jesus Christ 
has procured for the world is also procured, according 
to St. Thomas, by each Mass that is celebrated: " What 
ever is the effect of the Passion of our Lord, is also the 
effect of this sacrament. This the Church confirms 
by her prayer: "As many times as this commemorative 
sacrifice is celebrated, so often is the work of the re 
demption performed." 2 In fact, the Council of Trent 
adds that it is the same Saviour who is offered for us 
on the cross, and who offers himself on the altar through 
the ministry of the priest: " For the victim is one and 
the same the same now offering by the ministry of 
priests, who then offered Himself on the cross, the man 
ner alone of offering being different. " : Hence, as the 
Passion of our Saviour was sufficient to save the whole 
world, so one single Mass is sufficient for this end; the 
priest, therefore, says in offering the chalice: "We offer 
unto Thee, O Lord, the chalice of salvation, . . . for 
our salvation, and that of the whole wOrld." H 

By the sacrifice on the cross our Lord has obtained 
for us all the graces of the redemption; but it is by the 

1 Quidquid est effectus Dominiae passionis, est effectus hujus Sacra- 
menti," In Jo. 6, lect. 0. 

2 " Quoties hujus Hostire commemoratio celebratur, opus nostrae re- 
derriptionis exercetur." Miss. Dom. ix. post Pent. 

3 " Una enim eademque est Hostia, idem nunc offerens Sacerdotum 
ministerio, qui seipsum tune in cruce obtulit, sola offerendi ratione di- 
versa." Scss. xxii. cap. ii. 

4 " Offerimus tibi, Domine, calicem salutaris . . . pro nostra et to- 
tius mundi salute." 

340 Preparation and Thanksgiving. 

sacrifice of the altar that the fruit of the sacrifice of the 
cross is applied to us. The Passion has rendered us 
capable of participating in the merits of Jesus Christ, 
but the Mass has put us in possession of them: it applies 
to us the fruits of the Passion, as is taught us by the 
Council of Trent. 1 

We should therefore be convinced that the Mass is 
the greatest and the holiest action that we can perform 
upon earth, and that it is at the same time the most 
useful for our spiritual good. But as it is the holiest 
action, it is also that which we should perform with the 
greatest purity of intention and the greatest interior 
devotion of which we may be capable. The Council of 
Trent itself gives us. this admonition: "It is also suf 
ficiently clear, that all industry and diligence are to be 
applied to this end, that it be performed with the great 
est possible inward cleanness and purity of heart, and 
outward show of devotion and piety/ a 

Hence we may rnfer how great is the chastisement 
that priests merit if they say Mass with grave irrever 
ence. Now one renders one s self culpable of this grave, 
irreverence when one celebrates Mass with great haste, 
as one would do if one finished Mass in less than a quarter 
of an hour. This, according to the opinion of Doctors, 
cannot be excused from mortal sin, even when the Mass 
is short, as in a Mass of the Dead or of the Blessed 

Benedict XIV. 3 teaches with Clericatus, Roncaglia, 
Bissus, Gobat, Ouarti, and others, that the Mass 
should not last more than half an hour, nor less than 

1 Sess. xxii. cap. i-ii. 

" Satis apparet omnem operam et diligentiam in eo ponendam esse, 
ut, quanta maxima fieri potest interiori cordis mnuditia <ttqiie exleriori 
devotionis ae pidaiis specie, pcragaturS Sess. xxii., Deer, de obs. in 
eel. M. 

B Ins tit. 34, n. 30. 

Introduction. 341 

twenty minutes; for in a less space of time one cannot 
perform, with the respect that is due to them, all the 
prescribed ceremonies; and if one goes beyond that 
time one cannot avoid wearying those that are present. 
Hence Roncaglia, 1 Ouarti, 2 and Gobat 3 rightly say that 
he who celebrates Mass infra quadrantem, that is to say, 
in less than a quarter of an hour, cannot be exempt 
from a grave fault. In fact, it is certain that all the 
Rubrics relative to what is done during the Mass is pre 
ceptive, as we have proved in our Moral Theology; 4 for 
St. Pius V., in his Bull placed at the beginning of the 
Missal, ordains districte, in virtutc sanctce obediently that 
the Mass should be celebrated juxta ritiun, modum, ac 
normam, qua per Missale traditur. This being established, 
each time that one omits a ceremony, or that one does 
not perform it as one should, one commits at least a 
venial fault; and Concilia, 6 Wigandt," Roncaglia, 7 and 
Lacroix 8 rightly say that if one offends against many 
ceremonies, even if they do not belong to the most im 
portant, such negligence could amount even to a mortal 

We thence conclude, with the common opinion of the 
Doctors named above, that he who says Mass in less 
than a quarter of an hour sins grievously; for one can 
not finish Mass in so short a time without falling into 
two grave disorders: namely, a grave irreverence in re 
gard to the divine Sacrifice, and a grave scandal in re 
gard to the people. 

In regard to irreverence towards the holy Sacrifice, it 
is certain, according to what is declared by the Council 
of Trent in the decree cited above, that the malediction 
which God pronounces by the mouth of Jeremias 9 

1 Tr. 18, q. 2, c. 3. 2 P. i, tit. 16, dub. 6. 3 Tr. 3, n. 814. 

4 Thcol. mar. 1. C, n. 399. & n c Sacram. 1. 3, d. 2, c. 10, n. I. 

6 Tr, 15, n. 75, resp. 4. 7 Tr. 18, q. 2, c. 3, q. 4, r. 3, 

s L. 6, p. 2 , n . 422. * j cr . xlviii. 10. 

342 Preparation and Thanksgiving. 

against those that exercise negligently the functions 
that concern divine worship, applies precisely to those 
priests that celebrate Mass without due respect. He 
that celebrates Mass in less than a quarter of an hour 
must necessarily commit many faults by mutilating the 
words, by mixing them up pell-mell with the ceremonies, 
by not following the order prescribed by the Rubric, or 
by awkwardly making through excessive precipitation 
the blessings and genuflections; faults which, though 
each one may be light in itself, will when taken together 
be the cause why the Mass is said with grave irreverence. 

In the second place, as to the scandal given to the 
people, we must consider what the Council of Trent 1 
says; namely, that the ceremonies of worship, and espe 
cially those of the Mass, have been instituted to inspire 
the people with esteem and veneration for this august 
mystery. These ceremonies the heretics despise and 
ridicule; but God wishes that we should be exact in 
their observance. In the (Did Law our Lord threatened 
to let all the maledictions fall upon him who should 
neglect the ceremonies prescribed in the sacrifices; yet 
these sacrifices were only a shadow and a figure of the 
great sacrifice of the altar; how much greater will be 
the punishment that God will inflict upon those that are 
careless about the ceremonies of the Mass ! St. Teresa 
used to say: " For the least ceremony of the Church I 
would lay down my life a thousand times." 5 

Why should we set so great a value on ceremonies? 
We have already indicated the reason. The Council of 
Trent says that the ceremonies of the Mass have been 
instituted by the Church to make the faithful under 
stand by these exterior signs the majesty of the divine 
sacrifice and the grandeur of the mysteries contained 
therein: "The Church has employed ceremonies, . . . 
whereby both the majesty of so great a sacrifice might 

1 Sess. xxii. De Socrif. M. c. v. 2 Life, ch. 33. 

Introduction. 343 

be recommended, and the minds of the faithful be ex 
cited, by those visible signs of religion and piety, to the 
contemplation of those most sublime things which are 
hidden in this sacrifice." 1 But when the ceremonies are 
hastily performed, as they must be in order to finish 
them in so short a time as in less than a quarter of an 
hour, far from inspiring veneration for the Mass, they 
become the cause why people esteem so little so great a 
sacrifice. This conduct cannot be excused from a grave 
fault by reason of the grave scandal that the priest gives 
thereby to the people; for instead of inspiring them 
with a great veneration for the holy sacrifice he makes 
them lose it by showing them the contempt in which he 
himself holds this sacrifice. The Council of Tours or 
dained in 1583 that the priests should be fully instructed 
in the ceremonies of the Mass. Why ? " Lest," says the 
Council, "instead of urging the people to venerate the 
sacred mysteries, they cause them to make little account 
of them."" 

It is also for this reason that the Council of Trent has 
strictly enjoined upon the priests that they should not 
celebrate Mass irreverently; this, says the Council, can 
hardly be exempt from impiety. These are the words 
of the Council: "The holy Synod decrees that the ordi 
nary bishops of places shall take diligent care, and be 
bound to prohibit and abolish all those things that . . . 
irreverence (which can hardly be separated from im 
piety) may have introduced." We should note the 

1 " Ecclesia creremonias adhibuit, quo et majestas tanti Sacrificii com- 
mendaretur, et mentes fidelium, per haec visibilia religionis signa, ad 
rerum altissimarum, quae in hoc Sacrificio latent, contemplationem exci- 
tarentur." Scss. xxii. De Sacrif. M. c. v. 

"Ne populum sibi commissum a devotione potius revocent, quam 
ad sacrorum mysteriorum venerationem invitent." 

3 Decernit sancta synodus ut Ordinarii locorum ea omnia prohibere 
sedulo curent ac teneantur, quae irreverentia (quae ab impietate vix 
sejuncta esse potcst) induxit." Sess. xxii. Deer, dc obs. in eel. M. 

344 Preparation and Thanksgiving. 

words: "shall take diligent care, and be bound." It 
follows that the bishops are obliged, sub gram, attentively 
to watch and to ask information about the manner in 
which the Masses are celebrated in their dioceses, and 
that they should suspend from the celebration of Mass 
all those that discharge this duty with but little care 
and respect. Moreover, the Council has made the 
bishops apostolic delegates in reference to this point, 
even as to the religious that are exempt. They can and 
should correct them; and if any subject neglects to 
amend, they can forbid him to celebrate Mass, and can 
even constrain him by censures and other punishments 
in order to force him to do his duty. 

It is certain that a Mass celebrated with devotion will 
inspire with devotion those that hear it; on the contrary, 
a Mass said in haste and without gravity makes them lose 
devotion ; and what is worse, it diminishes the respect, and 
chills at the same time the faith, in the divine Sacrifice. In 
fact, when a priest says Mass without devotion and with 
little respect, hastening and mutilating the ceremonies, 
the genuflections, the sign of the cross, the raising of the 
hands, the kissing of the altar, and other similar move 
ments, or mixing them with the words which he pre 
cipitates so as to mutilate a great part of them, can he 
inspire with devotion and respect those that are present, 
and see him ? Most of the seculars are pleased to rid 
themselves as soon as possible of the duty of hearing 
Mass; but after having been present at a Mass cele 
brated in this hurried way they are scandalized at the 
priest who has celebrated it. 

There are some who excuse themselves, saying: For 
myself, I do not fail either in the words or in the cere 
monies: I omit nothing. We must, however, understand 
that in order to say Mass well, one should, it is true, 
pronounce all the words and perform all the ceremonies 

Introduction. 345 

prescribed by the Rubric, not only the most essential, 
but also the least important, because all concur to exalt 
the dignity of the sacrifice. Hence the Church wishes 
that all the ceremonies that are performed during Mass 
should be regarded as preceptive and obligatory, as we 
have proved above; but all must be performed with the 
gravity suitable to an action so holy. It is, therefore, 
not sufficient to say Mass by pronouncing all the words 
and by performing all the ceremonies; it is also neces 
sary that one should celebrate Mass gravely and sedate 
ly, so as to inspire those that are present with venera 
tion towards the holy sacrifice; otherwise, when every 
thing is done with much haste, one inspires them rather 
with contempt than with esteem for so grand a mystery. 
Thence comes that the priest who says Mass in less than 
a quarter of an hour, should he even have pronounced 
all the words and performed all the ceremonies, makes 
himself guilty of a grievous sin; for such a priest by 
not celebrating Mass with the requisite gravity cannot 
be excused from a grave irreverence. 

The first thing that makes priests celebrate with so 
much irreverence is that they go to the altar without 
thinking of what they are going to do: one goes there 
either for a wretched remuneration, or on account of some 
other human motive. Before going, therefore, to the altar, 
it is proper, it is even necessary, to prepare one s self, by 
making a half-hour s meditation, or at least a medita 
tion of a quarter of an hour; which, however, is not 
enough; and it would be well to take for the subject of 
meditation the Passion of Jesus Christ, since the priest 
is going to renew on the altar the sacrifice of the cross. 

It is then with this view that I have here placed the 
following Considerations with various pious acts; before 
going to celebrate Mass one should at least read some 
one of these considerations. 

346 Preparation and Thanksgiving. 

I have added at the end some Affections with prayers, 
that may serve as thanksgiving after Mass. One should 
remember that the pious acts, after Communion, as 
writers teach us, have more value and merit before God 
than if they were made at any other time, because then 
the soul is united with Jesus Christ. 

preparation for iftass. 





For Sunday. 
Jesus goes to meet His enemies, is taken, and bound. 

JESUS being in the garden, and knowing that Judas 
with the soldiers was now drawing nigh to seize and 
carry him off to death, does not wait until they come, 
but goes forth himself to meet them and to give himself 
into their hands. Our loving Redeemer was still bathed 
in that deadly sweat caused by the agony he had suf 
fered in the garden, but his Heart was burning with 
love, and panting to suffer for us; and so he calls his 
disciples who were asleep, and says to them: Surgite, 
eamusj ccce qui me tradet prope est (Mark, xiv. 42). 

So great, then, was Thy desire, my Saviour, to die for 
us, that Thou goest forth Thyself to meet Thy death. 
Ah, my Jesus, behold I am now going to the altar to 
renew the very same sacrifice of the Cross which Thou 
didst once consummate on Calvary. How I grieve for 
having despised Thee, who hast loved me so much as 
even to make me Thy priest ! In past times I have 
turned my back upon Thee; but now I only desire to 
be united to Thee. Pardon, I beseech Thee, this morn 
ing, before Thou enterest into my breast, all the bitter 
ness I have caused Thee, which I abhor above every 
other evil. Ah, do not allow me, my beloved Redeemei, 
to displease Thee again. T love Thee, my Jesus, dead 

348 Preparation for Mass. 

for me; I love Thee, my God, worthy of infinite love. 
I love Thee, my only Good: I leave all for Thy love. 
Deus meus et omnia. Thou alone art sufficient for me. 

EternarFather, I offer Thee this sacrifice in thanks 
giving for all the gifts conferred on Jesus as Man, on the 
Blessed Virgin, and on all my patron saints. I recom 
mend to Thee the Sovereign Pontiff, my relatives, bene 
factors, friends, and enemies. I recommend to Thee, 
moreover, infidels, heretics, and all sinners who are living 
in Thy displeasure: give them light and help to come 
out of so miserable a state, And to me since, as I 
hope, Thou hast restored me to Thy grace give holy 

And thou, O Mary, Mother of perseverance, do not 
cease to pray to Jesus for me. 

For Monday. 

Jesus is brought before Caiph;xs, and is condemned to death. 

The iniquitous high-priest, finding no proof where 
with to condemn the innocent Lord, endeavored to gain 
from his own words the declaration of his guilt, and 
therefore he asked him in the name of God: Adjuro te 
per Deum vivum, lit dicas nobis, si tu cs Christ-its Filius Dei 
(Matt. xxvi. 63). Jesus, on hearing himself conjured by 
the name of God, declared the truth, and replied: Ego 
sum: et videbitis F ilium hominis sedentem a dextris virtutis 
Dei, et venientcm cum nubibus cali (Mark, xiv. 62). On 
hearing this, Caiphas rent his garments, and said: 
What need have we of further witnesses? Have you 
heard the blasphemy which he has uttered?" Tune prin- 
ceps sacerdotum sddit vestimenta sua, diccns: Blasphemavit: 
quid adhuc egcmus testibus ? (Matt. xxvi. 65.) He then 
asked the other priests. Quid vobis videtur ? and they 
answered, Jtcits cst mortis. But this sentence had already 
been given by the Eternal Father when Jesus offered 

///. For Tuesday. 349 

himself to pay the penalty of our sins. My Jesus, I 
thank Thee, and I love Thee. 

As soon as this unjust sentence was proclaimed, all, 
during that night, labor to torment him. One spits in 
his face; another strikes him with his fists; another 
gives him many blows on the face, deriding him as a 
false prophet: Tune expucrunt in faciem e/its, et colaphis 
eum ceciderunt; alii autem palmas in faciem ejus dederunt, 
dicentes : Prophctiza nobis, Christe, quis est qui te percussit ? 
(Matt. xxvi. 67, 68.) And as St. Mark adds, they cover 
his sacred countenance with a miserable rag, and so 
they strike him by turns. 

Ah, my Jesus, how many insults hast Thou suffered 
for me to satisfy for the insults I have offered Thee ! I 
love Thee, infinite Goodness. I grieve above all things 
for having so despised Thee. Pardon me, and give me 
the grace to be wholly Thine: I wish to belong wholly 
to Thee; it is for Thee to grant it. 

Thou too, O Mary, my advocate and my hope, must 
obtain this favor for me by thy prayers. 

For Tuesday. 

Jesus is despised by Herod, and Barabbas preferred to Him. 

When the morning was come, the Jews lead Jesus to 
Pilate that he may condemn him anew, and cause him 
to die. Pilate, after having examined all the crimes of 
which they accused the innocent Lord, replied that he 
found no cause of condemnation: Ego niillam in eo invenio 
causam. But to free himself from the insults of the 
priests, who persisted in wishing his death, and hearing 
that Jesus was a Galilean, and so subject to Herod, he 
sent him to Herod. Herod desired to see Jesus, with 
the hopes of beholding some miracle, of which he had 
heard that so many had been worked by our Saviour: 
so that when he was brought before him he asked 

350 Preparation for Mass. 

him many questions; but the Lord answered him not a 
word. And therefore Herod, with his court, treated him 
as a fool, and in mockery clothed him with a white gar 
ment; and so sent him back to Pilate: Sprevit autem 
ilium Herodes cum exercitu suo, et illusit indutum veste alba, 
et rcmisit ad Pilatum (Luke, xxiii. u). 

With reason, then, my Jesus, did Isaias foretell that 
Thou wert to be treated on this earth as the last and 
vilest of men, novissimum virorum. But since Thou, my 
Redeemer and God, wert pleased to be so despised for 
me, I accept and embrace all the scorn I may receive 
from men; and I will no longer resent it, as I have 
hitherto done, to Thy great displeasure. 

Miserable Herod ! by his impiety he made himself 
unworthy that Jesus should speak to him. My Jesus, I 
have in like manner deserved that Thou shouldst no 
longer speak to me, and shouldst abandon me; but no; 
in Thy mercy, speak to me: Loquere, Domine, quia audit 
servus tuus. In past times I have not been -willing to 
listen to Thee; but now, because I love Thee, I wish to 
obey Thee in all things. Tell me what Thou wiliest of 
me, for I desire to please Thee in all things. Ah, Lord, 
when shall it be that I see myself wholly Thine, and no 
longer my own ? No, I will no longer resist Thy loving 

O Mary, thy prayers are all-powerful; ask thy Son to 
make me as he desires me to be. 

For Wednesday. 

Jesus is scourged -and crowned with thorns. 

Pilate acknowledges the innocence of Jesus, but, to 
please the Jews, condemns him to be scourged, hoping 
in this way to deliver him at least from death. Jesus 
accepts this excessive torture to make satisfaction for 
the sins we have committed with the senses. In this 

V* For Thursday. 351 

the words of the Prophet were fulfilled: Ipsc autcm vul- 
neratus cst propter iniquitatcs nostras, attritus cst propter 
scelera nostra (Is. liii. 5). 

I then, my Saviour, by my sins, and not the scourges, 
have torn Thy flesh. If I had sinned less, Thou wouldst 
have suffered fewer torments. I love Thee, my sove 
reign Good; and I repent with my whole heart of 
having so despised Thee. 

The Jews, not satisfied with this, persuade the soldiers 
to crown him with thorns, and to treat him as a mock 
king. They strip him again of his garments; they throw 
over his shoulders a purple cloak, and place a reed in 
his hand, and a bundle of thorns upon his head. My 
beloved Redeemer, my evil consentings to sin were the 
cruel thorns that pierced Thee with so much pain. I 
now detest them and hate them above every evil. 

Then they mocked him, and saluted him as King of 
the Jews; and then smiting him on the face, illudebant 
ci, diccntes: Ave rex Judceomm (Matt, xxvii. 29). St. 
John adds, Et dabant ci alapas (John, xix. 3). Ah, my 
Jesus, now Thou hast only the semblance of a king of 
mockery and of pain; but I acknowledge Thee for my 
true King and Lord, and I thank Thee and love Thee 
above every good. I -love Thee, my Jesus; scourged for 
me, and crowned with thorns for me. Grant, I pray 
Thee, that I may quit all to love none other than Thee. 

O Mary, Mother of God, pray to Jesus for me. 

For Thursday. 

Pilate shows Jesus to the people, saying, Ecce Homo ! 

Jesus is conducted back again to Pilate, who, seeing 
him so torn by the scourges, thinks to move the Jews to 
compassion by letting them see him. He goes out then 
on the balcony, and takes with him the afflicted Saviour, 
and says tQ the people, Ecce Homo ! Jesus then appeared, 

35 2 Preparation for Mass. 

crowned with thorns, and his shoulders covered with the 
purple cloak : Exivit ergo Jesus, portans coronam spineam 
et purpurcum vestimentum (John, xix. 5). Do thou, O my 
soul, look at thy Redeemer upon that balcony, and con 
sider to what a state thy Good Shepherd is reduced, in 
order to save thee, the lost sheep. My Jesus, I thank 
Thee. Misericordias Domini in ceternum cantabo. 

But the Jews, when they saw him, instead of pitying 
him, began to cry out, Crudfige, crudfige eum ! Pilate, 
nevertheless, seeks to deliver him, acknowledging his 
innocence; but they continue to cry, Tolle, tolle, crudfige 
eum ! Ah, my Jesus, I too once, in a certain way, wished 
Thee to die when I drove Thee from my soul; but Thou 
nevertheless, to pardon me, didst will to give Thy life 
upon the Cross. My dear Redeemer, I acknowledge the 
wrong I have done Thee, and would die of sorrow for it. 
I am sorry with my whole soul, O infinite Goodness, for 
having in past times so despised Thee; but now I love 
Thee above all things, and I prize Thy grace more than 
all the goods of heaven and earth. And of what profit 
are all the goods of the world without Thy grace ? 
Thou hast loved me even unto death; I also will love 
Thee unto death. Give me holy perseverance, give me 
Thy holy love; grant that during the days that await 
me I may never displease Thee again, and may think of 
nothing but of loving Thee. 

O blood of Jesus, inebriate me thoroughly with holy 
love. O death of Jesus, make me die to every earthly 
love. My beloved Saviour, deliver me from hell, which 
I have so often deserved. In hell I could no longer 
love Thee, and should be obliged to curse Thy blood, 
Thy death, and the graces Thou hast given me. No, 
my Jesus, I wish to love Thee, and to love Thee alone. 
Give me the grace to love Thee, and then do with me 
as Thou wilt. 

O Mary, Mother of sinners, help a sinner who wishes 

VL For Friday, 353 

to love God, and who recommends himself to thee. 
Thou listenest to all who pray to thee; listen then to 
me, for the love of Jesus Christ, whom thou lovest so 


For Friday. 

Jesus is cosdemned by Pilate to death, and carries the Cross to Calvary. 

Behold, Pilate is now on his judgment-seat, and con 
demns Jesus to die the death of the Cross. The unjust 
sentence given by Pilate is read out; but it has already 
been determined by the eternal Father, who willed the 
death of his Son for our salvation. Jesus listens to it, 
and, in perfect resignation to the divine will, humbly 
accepts it, in order that by his death he might deliver 
us from the eternal death which we had deserved: Hu- 
miliavit scmctipsum, factus obediens usque ad mortem, mortem 
an tan crucis (Phil. ii. 8). 

My beloved Redeemer, Thou acceptest death to give 
me eternal life: if Thou hadst not died for me, I should 
now have been lost forever. I thank Thee for it, my 
love; Thy death is my hope. And since Thou, my God, 
hast accepted death for love of me, I for love of Thee 
accept of my death in the way and time most pleasing 
to Thee, together with all the pains that shall accom 
pany it. I beseech Thee to give me the grace to die 
with the desire of pleasing Thee and of doing Thy will. 

Behold, Jesus is leaving the house of Pilate with the 
Cross on his shoulder, and goes to Calvary, the place of 
his execution. This is the great sight which the world 
one day beheld, a God, the Creator of all things, dying 
for his creatures ! 

Ah, Jesus, my Saviour; O love of my soul ! Thou art 
taking this journey to die for me. I will not leave 
Thee; I will follow Thee, and die with Thee. Wretch 
that T am, in past times I have despised Thee; and have 

354 Preparation for Mass. 

turned my back upon Thee; but now I love Thee above 
every good, and I repent with my whole heart of having 
offended Thee, and I promise never to leave Thee again 
until death. I embrace Thee with all affection, and in 
that embrace I wish to live and die. Do not, I pray 
Thee, abandon me with Thy grace. 

And thou, O Mary, my dear advocate and protectress, 
do not cease to intercede for me. 


For Saturday. 

Jesus dies upon the Cross, consumed with sorrows, in the presence of his afflicted 


As soon as Jesus had arrived on Calvary, the execu 
tioners strip him once more of his garments, and throw 
him upon the Cross. Jesus stretches out his hands, and 
offers to the eternal Father the great sacrifice of himself 
for the salvation of men. 

Behold, they now take the nails and the hammers, and 
piercing through the hands and feet, they fix him to the 
Cross, and leave him there to die. O men, O men ! how, 
I ask you, when you behold your God dying for love of 
you on that shameful wood, how can you behold him 
and live without loving him ? 

Jesus on the Cross! See the last appearance of the 
Lord of the world upon this earth ! Behold the proof 
of God s love towards us ! St. Francis of Paula, when 
one day contemplating Jesus on the Cross, began to ex 
claim: " O God. Love ! O God, Love ! O God, Love !" 
Ah, no one indeed will ever be able to explain or to com 
prehend the greatness of the love of this God for us, seen 
as it is in his willing to die for us, his miserable and un 
grateful creatures. 

And nevertheless, knowing this, my Jesus, I have de 
spised Thy love and renounced Thy grace But Thy 
blood is my hope. I am sorry above every evil for hav- 

VII. For Saturday. 355 

ing turned my back upon Thee, my Jesus. I love Thee 
with my whole soul, I love Thee above all things; and I 
promise from this day forth to love none but Thee. 

Draw near, my soul, humbled and softened, to that 
Cross on which thy dying Lord is hanging. Kiss the 
altar on which thy very Creator is pleased to die for 
thec, sacrificed and consumed with sorrows. Bathe 
thyself in the blood which is running down from those 
sacred feet; in it wash away thy sins, and from it hope 
for every good. My dear Jesus, I will no longer belong 
to myself; I will be Thine, and Thine only. Tell me 
what Thou wiliest of me, for I desire to fulfil all. I 
hope for every thing from Thy goodness; and I also 
hope for all from thy protection, O my Mother Mary. 

&l)anksjgiwnjg after Jllass. 


For Sunday. 

MY beloved Jesus, I adore Thee; come into my breast 
under the humble appearances of bread and wine, and 
I cast myself at Thy feet and thank Thee for so great 
goodness in being pleased to come and visit me, a poor 
sinner, who have so often driven Thee from my soul. 

I could die of grief, my Redeemer, in thinking of the 
many insults I have offered Thee during my life. I 
thank Thee for giving me time to remedy the evil I have 
done. In past time I despised Thy love; but from this 
day forward I desire to love none but Thee, and to seek 
nothing but that which pleaseth Thee: Deus metis et 
omnia. Thou henceforth shalt be my only good, my 
only love. 

O Love of my soul, I desire to give myself wholly to 
Thee: if I know not how to give myself as I ought, do 
Thou Thyself take me: Trahe me post tc in odor cm unguen- 
torum tuorum. O incarnate Word, O God enamoured of 
men, detach me by Thy sweet and powerful drawings 
from all earthly affections, and draw me wholly to Thy 
holy love. Grant that I too may be able to say with 
truth: Quid mihi cst in ccelo, ct a te quid volui super terrain ? 
Deus cordis mei, ct pars mca Deus in (sternum. Do Thou, 
O my Jesus, I pray Thee, dispose of my whole heart, of 
my whole will, so that I have no will but Thine, that I 
seek for nothing but to give Thee pleasure, and that 
nothing may please me save that which is pleasing to 
Thee: Dem cordis mei, et pars mca Deus in (sternum. Let 

//. For Monday. 357 

others choose what portion they please in this world, 
Thou art, and shalt always be, my only portion. 

I can do nothing of myself, but with Thy grace I can 
do all: Omnia possum in eo qui me confortat. Thou hast 
promised to hear those who pray to Thee: Petite, ct ac- 
cipietis. These are the graces that I beg of Thee: give 
me holy perseverance, give me holy love, and I ask for 
nothing more. Hear me, O my Jesus, by the merits of 
Thy Passion. 

Mary, my Queen and Advocate, thy prayers can ob 
tain all. Pray to Jesus for me. Hear me, O my Mother, 
for the love which thou bearest to Jesus. 


For Monday. 

O my divine shepherd, Thou didst come down from 
heaven to save me, the lost sheep, and I, by turning my 
back upon Thee, have gone again to destruction: Erravi 
sicut ovis quce periit; qucere scrvum tuum (Ps. cxviii. 176). 
I hope, my Jesus, that Thou hast pardoned my offences 
against Thee: but if Thou hast not yet pardoned me, do 
so now that Thou art come into my breast. I repent 
with my whole heart of having in past time so despised 
Thy grace: now I value it above every good, and I 
would, rather than lose it, lose my life a thousand times. 
And what profit is it to live in this world without Thy 
grace ? 

My beloved Redeemer, Thou hast died for all, in order 
that no one should live to himself, but to Thee who hast 
given Thy life for him: Pro omnibus mortuus est Christus, 
ut et qui vivunt, jam non sibi viva?it, scd ei qui pro ipsis mor 
tuus est (2 Cor. v. 15). Hitherto I have lived for myself, 
forgetful of Thee: henceforward I wish to live for Thee 
alone, who didst die for me: I desire to forget all, in 
order to think of loving Thee alone, who hast loved me 
so much. But in order to do this, Thou must help me, 

358 Thanksgiving after Mass. 

and this I most certainly hope for from Thy promise to 
grant that which is asked for in Thy name: Si quid peti- 
eritis me in nomine mco, dabo vobis (John, xiv. 14). I ask 
and hope for it through the merits of Thy Passion. Ad- 
veniat regnum tuum. Reign, my Jesus, reign over my 
whole soul, and never more let it rebel against Thee. I 
love Thee, infinite Goodness, and I beseech Thee, Ne per- 
mittas me separari a te. Let me die rather than see my 
self deprived of Thy friendship: /// te, Domine, spcravi; 
non confimdar in cetcrnum. 

O Mary, O powerful advocate of those who trust in 
thy intercession, I trust in thee, and hope for eternal 
life. I say to thee then with St. Bonaventure, full of joy: 
In tc, Domina, speravi; non confimdar in ceternum. 

For Tuesday. 

Grant, I beseech Thee, my Jesus and my God, that I 
may always know more and more how infinite a good 
Thou art, and the immense love Thou hast shown me in 
having willed to suffer all Thy life and to die for me; 
and more than this, in having given Thyself to me so 
often in the holy Communion. St. John Chrysostom 
writes: Semetipsum nobis immiscuit, ut nnum quid simus; 
ardentcr cnim amantiiun hoc cst. In short, Thine ardent 
love for me, my Saviour, has forced Thee to make Thy 
self my food, in order that I might become one with 

Come then, come, O God of my soul, and make it all 
Thine own: come and drive from it all earthly affections, 
so that I may love Thee alone, think of Thee alone, speak 
of Thee alone, desire Thee alone, and seek for Thee alone. 
And whom shall I love, if I love not Thee, who art in 
finite goodness, and hast loved me even so far as to die 
for me? Ah, my Jesus, how couldst Thou choose me, 
an ungrateful one, from the midst of so many of Thy 

IV. For Wednesday. 359 

faithful servants, to be Thy priest? I have so often 
turned my back upon Thee, and Thou every morning 
dost vouchsafe to come into my hands and into my 
breast. Unhappy shall I be, if, after the many graces 
Thou hast given me, I go back again and lose Thy grace. 
() Lord, I love Thee now with all my soul, and I am 
heartily sorry for having despised Thee: I will not offend 
Thee more, and I will love Thee with all my strength. 
Help me, and do not abandon me. Vulncra tua merita 
mea (St. Bern.). Thy wounds, Thy blood, Thy death, 
are my hope. Give me holy perseverance; grant that 
in all my temptations I may have recourse to Thee: in 
crease in me Thy love; and then do with me what Thou 

Mary, my Queen, obtain for me the grace to recom 
mend myself always to thee: he who has recourse to 
thee never remains overcome by the devil. 

For Wednesday. 

O incarnate Word ! what greater proofs hast Thou to 
make us understand the great love Thou dost entertain 
towards us, miserable and sinful worms? 

Tell us, is there anything else Thou canst discover in 
order to force us to love Thee? Unhappy is he who 
lives deprived of Thy love; and unhappy me, who 
hitherto not only have not loved Thee, but have so 
greatly outraged Thy patience by the many insults I 
have offered Thee. How many times, O God of my 
soul, have I exchanged Thy grace for a miserable plea 
sure, and have told Thee to Thy face that I would not 
serve Thee ! I repent of it, O God of my soul, from my 
whole heart. I hope for pardon from Thee through the 
merits of Thy death, and I hope for perseverance in Thy 
love. It is for this that Thou hast been following me 
for so many years. I will resist no longer: and, in truth, 

360 Thanksgiving after Mass. 

do I wish to wait until Thou Thyself shalt send me to 
hell? I love Thee, infinite Goodness; I love Thee, my 
God, worthy of infinite love; I love Thee, and I wish to 
repeat always in this life and in the next, I love Thee, I 
love Thee, I love Thee. 

In manus tuas conunendo spiritum meum ; redemisti me, 
Domine, Dens veritatis. My Jesus, do not Thou abandon 
me. Thou comest down every day from heaven to 
unite me to Thyself, and to feed me with Thy flesh. 
Ah, do not let me see myself separated again from Thee. 
Jesus, my love and my hope, now I desire nothing, save 
to be Thine, and wholly Thine, without reserve. Give 
me strength, my Redeemer, to execute this desire. O 
bonejesu, exandi me. 

O Mary, my Mother, if thou prayest for me, I shall 
certainly obtain this grace. O Maria, cxaudi me. 

For Thursday. 

An nescitis quoniam . . . non estis vestri? Empti enim 
estis pretio magno. Such is the warning of the Apostle. 
So it is, my Jesus; but nevertheless I have forgotten 
Thee so many times for a mere nothing, and have re 
nounced Thy grace and Thy love. All this is true; but 
it is likewise true that I am one of those sinners who 
have been purchased with Thy blood: Te ergo qiicesumus 
tuis famulis subveni, quos pretio so sanguine redemisti. I love 
Thee, my Jesus, above every good; and because I love 
Thee, I repent with my whole heart of having dis 
pleased Thee. 

Miserable being that I am, how many years have I 
lost, in which I could have served Thee and have be 
come holy! Instead of which, I have squandered them 
away in despising Thee, and in sending my soul to per 
dition. But Thy goodness makes me hope that I may 
make up for lost time by redoubling the love that I 

VI. For Friday. 361 

owed Thee. My Jesus, Thou hast given Thyself to me 
upon the Cross, and in the most Holy Sacrament; and 
what shall I, a miserable sinner, give to Thee ? I give 
Thee all my earthly satisfactions: I give Thee my body, 
my soul, my will, my liberty. If Thou foreseest that I 
shall ever take back again my will by sinning against 
Thee, let me die now that I hope I am in Thy grace. 
Eternal Father, Thou dost grant all graces which are 
asked of Thee in the name of Jesus Christ: I beseech 
Thee, in the name of Jesus Christ, give me holy per 
severance, and Thy holy love. 

O Mary, thou art the Mother of perseverance; thou 
listenest to those who pray to thee. I ask of thee, and 
I surely hope from thee, this holy perseverance. 

For Friday. 

Christus dilexitnos, et tradidit semetipsum pro nobis (Ephes. 
v. 2). Jesus Christ, then, the Son of God, has loved us 
so much that he has been pleased to die of sorrow for 
us upon a cross. And who could ever have caused a 
God to die, if he himself had not willed to die ? Ego 
pono animam meam, He said: nemo tollit earn a me; sed ego 
pono earn (John, x. 17). 

O my soul, if you doubt your Saviour s love for you, 
look at him dead upon that Cross for you; and what 
greater proof could he give of his love for you, than to 
give his life for love of you ? In hoc cognovimus caritatem 
Dei, quoniam ille animam suam pro nobis po suit (i Jo/in, iii. 

My Jesus, Thou hast given Thy life for my salvation, 
and I have exchanged Thy friendship for nothing for 
the satisfaction of a passion, for a miserable pleasure! 
I am sorry for it above every evil: would that I could die 
of sorrow! Pardon me, I beseech Thee, by the merits 

362 Thanksgiving after Mass. 

of Thy death; and in pledge of my pardon, give me a 
great sorrow for my sins and a great love for Thee. I 
feel within me, by Thy grace, a lively desire to love 
Thee, and a resolution to belong wholly to Thee; but I 
see my own weakness, I see my past treachery. Thou 
alone canst make me strong and faithful. Help me, O 
my love; make me love Thee: I ask Thee for nothing 

In hoc enim Christus mortuus est et resurrexit, ut et mor- 
tuorum et vivorum dominetur (Rom. xiv. 9). So, then, my 
Saviour, Thou didst die in order to make Thyself the 
master of our hearts. Yes, my Jesus, I will that this 
heart of mine, which once was a rebel against Thee, be 
now wholly Thine: do Thou henceforward take the 
dominion of it, and let it be obedient to all Thy will. 
Tell me what Thou wiliest of me; for with the help of 
Thy grace I desire to do all. 

O Mary, pray to Jesus for me: thou must make me 
faithful to God. 

For Saturday. 

Animam meam pono pro ovibus meis (John, x. 15). O 
divine Shepherd, who wert pleased, for the love of Thy 
sheep, to die upon an infamous gibbet consumed with 
sorrows, do not abandon me, as I have deserved by 
reason of my offences against Thee. I have been a sin 
ner, but I will be so no longer. Now I love Thee, my 
dear Jesus, above all things; and there is no sorrow that 
afflicts me so much as the remembrance of having so 
greatly despised Thee in past years. I thank Thee for 
not having sent me to hell, and for having waited for 
me with so much patience. Ah, my true Lover, instead 
of abandoning me, Thou hast followed me, and hast 
knocked at the door of my heart with such sweet loving 

VI L For Saturday. 363 

calls, that at length Thou hast drawn me to Thy love. 
My Jesus, I thank Thee, and I pray Thee to perfect the 
work. Give me light and strength to detach myself 
from all that does not tend to Thy love. 

Thou hast said that Thou lovest him who loves Thee: 
Ego diligentes me diligo. Formerly I turned my back on 
Thee, and then I justly deserved Thy hatred; but now 
that I love Thee, my dear God, hate me no longer. Do 
Thou also love me: I prize Thy love more than the love 
of the whole world. Let all men look on me with hor 
ror; it is enough for me if Thou dost look on me with 
love. Provided I lose not Thy love, I am content to 
suffer every pain. Bind me, and press me to Thyself, so 
that I may never see myself separated again from Thee. 
Jesu duhissime, ne permittas me separari a te. 

Mary, Virgin most holy, thou must obtain for me this 
grace, never again to separate myself from the love of 
my God. 

Hcts before Communion. 

An Act of Faith. 

Behold, He cometh leaping upon the mountains, skipping 
over the hills. 1 Ah, my most amiable Saviour, over how 
many, what rough and craggy mountains, hast Thou had 
to pass in order to come and unite Thyself to me by 
means of this most holy sacrament! Thou, from being 
God, hadst to become man; from being immense, to be 
come a babe; from being Lord, to become a servant. 
Thou hadst to pss from the bosom of Thy eternal 
Father to the wo of a Virgin; from heaven into a 
stable; from a throne of glory to the gibbet of a crimi 
nal. And on this very morning Thou wilt come from 
Thy seat in heaven to dwell in my bosom. 

JBehold He standeth behind our wall, looking through the 
windows, looking through the lattices? Behold, O my soul, 
thy loving Jesus, burning with the same love with which 
he loved thee when dying for thee on the Cross, is now 
concealed in the Most Blessed Sacrament under the 
sacred species; and what is he doing? Looking through 
the lattices. As an ardent lover, desirous to see you 
correspond to his love, from the Host, as from within 
closed lattices, whence he sees without being seen, he is 
looking at you, who are this morning about to feed 
upon his divine flesh; he observes your thoughts, what 

1 " Ecce iste venit saliens in montibus, transiliens colics." Cant. 
ii. 8. 

2 " En ipse stat post parietem nostrum, respiciens per fenestras, 
prospiciens per cancellos." Cant. ii. 9. 

Acts before Holy Communion. 365 

it is that you love, what you desire, what you seek for, 
and what offerings you are about to make him. 

Awake, then, my soul, and prepare to receive thy 
Jesus; and, in the first place, by faith, say to him: So, 
then, my beloved Redeemer, in a few moments Thou 
art coming to mel O hidden God, unknown to the 
greater part of men, I believe, I confess, I adore Thee in 
the Most Holy Sacrament as my Lord and Saviour! 
And in acknowledgment of this truth I would willingly 
lay down my life. Thou comest to enrich me with Thy 
graces and to unite Thyself entirely to me; how great, 
then, should be my confidence in this Thy so loving 

An Act of Confidence. 

My soul, expand thy heart. Thy . i4 sus can do thee 
every good, and, indeed, loves thee. Hope thou for 
great things from this thy Lord, who, urged by love, 
comes all love to thee. 

Yes, my dear Jesus, my hope, I trust in Thy goodness? 
that, in giving Thyself to me this morning, Thou wilt 
enkindle in my poor heart the beautiful flame of Thy 
pure love, and a real desire to please Thee; so that, from 
this day forward, I may never will anything but what 
Thou wiliest. 

An Act of Love. 

Ah, my God, my God, true and only love of my soul, 
and what more couldst Thou have done to be loved by 
me ? To die for me was not enough for Thee, my Lord; 
Thou wast pleased to institute this great sacrament in 
order to give Thyself all to me, and thus bind and unite 
Thyself heart to heart wrth so loathsome and ungrate- 

366 Acts before Holy Communion. 

ful a creature as I am. And what is more, Thou Thy 
self invitest me to receive Thee, and desirest so much 
that I should do so! O boundless love! incomprehensi 
ble love! infinite love! a God would give himself all to 
me |_My soul, believest thou this? And what doest 
thou ? what sayest thou ? O God, O God, O infinite 
amiability, only worthy object of all love, I love Thee 
with my whole heart, I love Thee above all things, I 
love Thee more than myself, more than my life! Oh, 
could I but see Thee loved by all! Oh, could I but 
cause Thee to be loved by all hearts as much as Thou 
deservest! I love Thee, O most amiable God, and I 
unite my miserable heart in loving Thee to the heart, 
of the seraphim, to the heart of the most blessed Virgin 
Mary, to the- Heart of Jesus, thy most loving and beloved 
Son. So that, O infinite Good, I love Thee with the 
love with which the saints, with which Mary, with which 
Jesus, love Thee. And I love Thee only because Thou 
art worthy of it, and to give Thee pleasure. Depart, all 
earthly affections, that are not for God, depart from my 
heart. Mother of fair love, most holy Virgin Mary, help 
me to love that God whom Thou dost so ardently desire 
to see loved! 

An Act of Humility. 

Then, my soul, thou art even now about to feed on 
the most sacred flesh of Jesus! And art thou worthy? 
My God, and who am I, and who art Thou ? I indeed 
know and confess who Thou art that givest Thyself to 
me; but dost Thou know what I am who am about to 
receive Thee ? And is it possible, O my Jesus, that Thou 
who art infinite purity desirest to come and reside in 
this soul of mine, which has been so many times the 
dwelling of Thy enemy, and soiled with so many sins? 

Acts before Holy Communion. 367 

I know, O my Lord, Thy great Majesty and my misery; 
I am ashamed to appear before Thee. Reverence would 
induce me to keep at a distance from Thee; but if I 
depart from Thee, O my life, whither shall I. go ? to 
whom shall I have recourse ? and what will become of 
me? No, never will I depart from Thee; nay, even I 
will ever draw nearer and nearer to Thee. Thou art 
satisfied that I should receive Thee as food, Thou even 
invitest me to this. I come then, O my amiable Saviour, 
I come to receive Thee this morning, all humbled and 
confused at the sight of my defects; but full of confi 
dence in Thy tender mercy, and in the love which Thou 
bearest rne. 

An Act of Contrition. 

I am indeed grieved, O God of my soul, for not hav 
ing loved Thee during the time past; what is still worse, 
so far from loving Thee, and to gratify my own inclina 
tions, I have greatly offended and outraged Thy infinite 
goodness: I have turned my back upon Thee, I have 
despised Thy grace and friendship; in a word, O my 
God, I was deliberate in my will to lose Thee. Lord, I 
am sorry, and grieve for it with my whole heart. I de 
test the sins which I have committed, be they great or 
small, as the greatest of all my misfortunes, because I 
have thereby offended Thee, O Infinite Goodness. I 
trust that Thou hast already forgiven me; but if Thou 
hast not yet pardoned me, oh, do so before I receive 
Thee: wash with Thy blood this soul of mine, in which 
Thou art so soon about to dwell. 

368 A els before Holy Communion. 

An Act of Desire. 

And now, my soul, the blessed hour has arrived in 
which Jesus will come and take up his dwelling in thy 
poor heart. Behold the King of Heaven, behold thy 
Redeemer and God, who is even now coming; prepare 
thyself to receive him with love, invite him with the 
ardor of thy desire. 

Come, O my Jesus, come to my soul, which desires 
Thee. Before Thou givest Thyself to me, I desire to 
give Thee, and I now give Thee, my miserable heart; 
do Thou accept it, and come quickly to take possession 
of it. Come, my God! hasten; delay no longer. My 
only and Infinite Good, my treasure, my life, my Para 
dise, my love, my all, my wish is to receive Thee with 
the love with which the most holy and loving souls have 
received Thee; with that with which the most blessed 
Virgin Mary received Thee; to their Communions I 
unite this Communion of mine. 

Most holy Virgin and my Mother Mary, behold, I 
already approach to receive thy Son. Would that I had 
the heart and love with which thou didst communicate! 
Give me this morning thy Jesus, as thou didst give him 
to the shepherds and to the kings. I intend to receive 
him from thy most pure hands. Tell him that I am thy 
servant and thy client; for he will thus look upon me 
with a more loving eye, and now that he is coming, will 
press me more closely to himself. 

Bets after (Eommuman. 

An Act of Faith. 

BEHOLD, my God is even now come to visit me; my 
Saviour to dwell in my soul. My Jesus is even now 
within me. He has come to make himself mine, and at 
the same time to make me his. So that Jesus is mine, 
and I belong to Jesus: Jesus is all mine, and I am all 

O infinite Goodness ! O infinite Mercy ! O infinite 
Love ! that a God should come to unite himself to me, 
and to make himself all mine ! My soul, now that thou 
art thus closely bound to Jesus, that thou art thus one 
with him, what doest thou ? Hast thou nothing to say to 
him; dost thou not converse with thy God, who is with 
thee? Ah, yes, renew thy faith; remember that the 
angels now surround thee adoring their God, who is 
within thy breast; do thou also adore thy Lord within 
thyself. Enter into thyself, and banish thence every 
other thought. Unite all thy affections, and, clinging 
closely to thy God, say: 

An Act of Welcome. 

Ah, my Jesus, my love, my infinite good, my all, be 
ever welcome in the poor dwelling of my soul ! Ah, my 
Lord, where art thou ! to what a place art Thou come ! 
Thou hast entered my heart, which is far worse than the 
stable in which Thou wast born; it is full of earthly 
affections, of self-love, and of inordinate desires. And 


370 Acts after Holy Communion. 

how couldst Thou come to dwell there ? I would address 
Thee with St. Peter: Depart from me, for I am a sinful 
man. 1 Yes, depart from me, O Lord, for I am indeed 
unworthy to receive a God of infinite goodness; go and 
find repose in those pure souls who serve Thee with so 
much love. But no, my Redeemer; what do I say? 
Leave me not; for if Thou departest, I am lost. I 
embrace Thee, my life; I cling to Thee. Mad indeed 
have I been in having separated myself from Thee for 
the love of creatures; and in my ingratitude I drove 
Thee from me. But now I will never more separate 
myself from Thee, my treasure; I desire to live and die 
ever united to Thee. Most blessed Virgin Mary, 
Seraphim, and all souls, do ye who love God with pure 
love lend me your affections, that I may worthily attend 
on my beloved Lord. 

An Act of Thanksgiving. 

My God and Lord, I thank Thee for the grace which 
Thou hast this morning bestowed upon me, of coming 
to dwell in my soul; but I would wish to thank Thee 
in a manner worthy of Thee and of the great favor which 
Thou hast done me. But what do I say? how can so 
miserable a creature as I am ever worthily thank Thee ? 

Father Segneri says, that the feeling most becoming a 
soul that communicates is that of wondering astonish 
ment at the thought, and to repeat, " A God is united to 
me; a God is mine !" David said, What shall I render to 
the Lord for all the things that He hath rendered to me ? a 
But I ! what return shall I make to Thee, my Jesus, who, 
after having given me so many of Thy good things, hast 
this morning, moreover, given me Thyself? My soul, 

1 " Exi a me, quia homo peccator sum." Luke, v. 8. t 

a " Quid retribuam Domino pro omnibus qurc retribuit mihi?" Ps. 

CXV. 12. 

Acts after Holy Communion. 371 

bless, then, and thank thy God as best thou canst. And 
thou, my Mother Mary, my holy advocates, my guardian 
angel, and all ye souls who love God, Come and hear, all 
ye that fear God, and I will tell you what great things He 
hath done for my soul. 1 Come and bless and thank my 
God for me, admiring and praising the indeed great 
graces which he has granted me. 

An Act of Oblation. 

My Beloved to me % and I to Him? Should a king go to 
visit a poor shepherd in his hut, what can the shepherd 
offer him other than his whole hut, such as it is ? Since, 
then, O Jesus, my divine king, Thou hast come to visit 
the poor house of my soul, I offer and give Thee this 
house and my entire self, together with my liberty and 
will: My Beloved to me, and I to Him. Thou hast given 
Thyself all to me; I give myself all to Thee. My Jesus, 
from this day forward I will be no longer mine; I will 
be Thine, and all Thine. May my senses be Thine, that 
they may only serve me to please Thee. And what 
greater pleasure, says St. Peter of Alcantara, can be 
found, than that of pleasing Thee, most amiable, most 
loving, most gracious God ? I at the same time give 
Thee all the powers of my soul, and I will that they 
shall be all Thine; my memory I will only use to recall 
to mind Thy benefits and Thy love; my understanding 
I will only use to think of Thee, who always thinkest 
of my good; my will I will only use to love Thee, my 
God, my all, and to will only that which Thou wiliest. 

My most sweet Lord, I offer, then, and consecrate to 
Thee this morning all that I am and have my senses, 

1 " Venitc, auditc, . . . omnes qui timctis Deum, quanta fecit 
animne mere." Ps. Ixv. 16. 

* " Dilectus mcus mihi et ego illi." C.:".-. -J- i&. 

372 Acts after Holy Communion. 

my thoughts, my affections, my desires, my pleasures, 
my inclinations, my liberty; in a word, I place my whole 
body and soul in Thy hands. 

Accept, O Infinite Majesty, the sacrifice of the hitherto 
most ungrateful sinner Thou hast ever had on earth; 
but who now offers and gives himself all to Thee. Do 
with me and dispose of me, O Lord, as Thou pleasest. 

Come, O consuming fire, O divine love ! and consume 
in me all that is mine, and that is displeasing in Thy 
most pure eyes, so that henceforward I may be all 
Thine, and may live only to execute, not Thy commands 
and counsels only, but also all Thy holy desires and Thy 
good pleasure. Amen. 

O most holy Mary, do thou present this offering of 
mine to the Most Blessed Trinity with thine own 
hands; and do thou obtain their acceptance of it, and 
that they may grant me the grace to be faithful unto 
death. Amen, amen, amen. 


An Act of Petition. 

O my soul, what art thou doing? The present is no 
time to be lost: it is a precious time, in which thou 
canst receive all the graces that thou a skest. Seest thou 
not the Eternal Father, who is lovingly beholding thee ? 
for within thee he sees his beloved Son, the dearest 
object of his love. Drive, then, far from thee all other 
thoughts; rekindle thy faith, enlarge thy heart, and ask 
for whatever thou wiliest. 

Hearest thou not Jesus himself who thus addresses 
thee: What wilt thou that I should do to thee V O soul, 
tell me, what dost thou desire of me? I am come for 
the express purpose of enriching and gratifying thee; 
ask with confidence, and thou wilt receive all. 
1 " Quid tibi vis faciam ?" Mark, x. 51. 

Acts after Ploly Communion. 373 

Ah ! my most sweet Saviour, since Thou hast come 
into my heart in order to grant me graces, and desirest 
that I should ask Thee for them, I ask Thee not for the 
goods of the earth riches, honors, or pleasures; but 
grant me, I beseech Thee, intense sorrow for the dis 
pleasure that I have caused Thee; impart to me so clear 
a light, that I may know the vanity of this world, and 
how deserving Thou art of love. Change this heart of 
mine, detach it from all earthly affections; give me a 
heart conformable in all things to Thy holy will, that it 
may seek only that which is more pleasing to Thee, and 
have no other desire than Thy holy love: Create a clean 
heart in me, O God. 

I deserve not this; but Thou, my Jesus, deservest it, 
since Thou art come to dwell in my soul: I ask it of 
Thee through Thy merits, and those of Thy most holy 
Mother, and by the love which Thou bearest to Thy 
Eternal Father. 

Here pause, to ask Jesus for some other particular grace for 
yourself and for your neighbors. Do not forget poor sin 
ners, or the souls in Purgatory; and pray also for me, who 
composed this little book for your good. 

Eternal Father, Jesus Christ himself, Thy Son, has 
said, A me tiy amen, I say to you, If you ask the Father any 
thing in My Name, He will give it you? Fur the love, 
then, of this Son, whom I now hold within my breast, do 
Thou graciously hear me and grant my petition. 

Amores mei dulcissimi, Jesu ct Maria ! pro vobis patiar, 
pro vobis moriar; sim totus vester, sim nihil meus? ("My 
most sweet Loves, Jesus and Mary, may I suffer for you, 
may I die for you; may I be all yours, and in nothing 
my own !") 

1 " Cor mundum crea in me, Deus." Ps. \. 12. 

2 " Amen, amen, dico vobis: si quid petieritis Patrem in nomine 
meo, dabit vobis." John, xvi. 23. 

3 Alph. Kodrig. 


They can be used cither before or after Communion, or in visiting the 
Blessed Sacrament. 

Before Communion. 

Egredimini ct vidctc, film Sion, rcgcm Salomoncm in 
diademate, quo coronavit ilium mater sua in die desponsationis 
illius (Cant. iii. n). O daughters of grace, O ye souls 
who love God, quit the darkness of earth, and behold 
Jesus, your king, crowned with a crown of thorns; the 
crown of contempt and suffering with which the im 
pious synagogue, his mother, crowned him on the day 
of his espousals, that is to say, on the day of his death, 
by the means of which he espoused himself on the Cross 
to our souls. Go. forth again, and behold him all full of 
compassion and love, now that he comes to unite him 
self to thee in this sacrament of love. 

Has it indeed, then, cost Thee so much, my beloved 
Jesus, before Thou couldst come and unite Thyself to 
souls in this most sweet sacrament ? Wert Thou in 
deed obliged to suffer so bitter and ignominious a death ? 
Oh, come then, without delay, and unite Thyself to my 
soul also. It was atone time Thy enemy by sin; but 
now Thou desirest to espouse it by Thy grace. Come, 

Jesus, my spouse; for never more will I betray Thee; 

1 am determined to be ever faithful to Thee. As a lov 
ing spouse, my whole thought shall be to find out Thy 

Before Holy Commitment. 375 

pleasure. I am determined to love Thee without re 
serve; I desire to be all Thine, my Jesus, all, all, all. 


Fasciculus myrrha Dilcctus meus mihi; inter ubera mea 
commorabitur (Cant. i. 12). The myrrh plant when 
pricked sends forth tears, and a healthful liquor from 
the wounds. Our Jesus, from the beginning of his Pas 
sion, determined to pour forth his divine blood from his 
wounds with so much pain, in order to give it after 
wards all to us for our salvation in this bread of Life. 

Come, then, O my beloved bundle of myrrh, O my 
enamoured Jesus; Thou art indeed a subject of grief 
and pity to me when I consider Thee all wounded for 
me on the Cross; but then, when I receive Thee in this 
most sweet sacrament, Thou becomest indeed to me 
more sweet and delicious than a bunch of the choicest 
grapes can be to one who is parched with thirst: Rotrus 
Cypri dilcctiis meus mihi in rinds Engaddi (Cant. i. 13). 
Come, then, to my soul, and revive and satiate me with 
Thy holy love. Ah, what sweetness do I feel in my 
soul at the thought that I have to receive within myself 
that same Saviour of mine, who for my salvation was 
pleased to be drained of all his blood, and sacrificed on 
across! Inter iibera mea commorabitur. No, my Jesus, 
never more will I drive Thee hence; and Thou shalt 
never more have to leave me. I am determined ever to 
love Thee, and to be always united to and closely bound 
up with Thee. I will always belong to Jesus, and Jesus 
will be always mine: forever, forever, forever inter ubera 
mea commorabitur. 


Diim esset Rex in accubitii suo, nardus mea dedit odorcm 
suum (Cant. i. u). When Jesus comes to dwell in a soul 
in holy Communion, oh how clearly does she see and 

376 Loving Aspirations 

know her own nothingness by the bright light which 
the King of heaven brings with him! As the spikenard 
is the most lowly among plants, so does the soul confess 
herself the most vile of all creatures; and when thus 
humbled, oh how sweet is the odor that she breathes 
forth to her beloved King! and for this reason he in 
vites her to unite herself to him in closer and closer 

If, then, my soul, thou desirest that thy Jesus should 
repose in thee, consider thy own nothingness. Who art 
thou? what dost thou deserve? Humble thyself as 
thou shouldst do, by casting away from thyself all self- 
esteem, which may keep Jesus at a. distance from thee, 
or prevent his coming to repose in thee. Come to me, 
my dear Redeemer, come; and by Thy divine light 
make me see my own lowliness, my misery, my nothing 
ness, that Thou mayest be enabled to repose in me with 
satisfaction to Thyself, to separate Thyself no more 
from me. 


Scntite de Domino in bonitatc (Sap. i. i). My soul, why 
art thou so timid and fearful at the sight of the good 
ness and infinite love of thy Lord ? why such distrust ? 
Now that thou art made worthy to receive within thee 
Jesus Christ, let thy sentiments correspond to this grace, 
by confiding in that goodness of God, who gives thee 
all himself. Truly his judgments are terrible, but they 
are terrible only to the proud and to the obstinate; but 
to the humble and penitent, who desire to love and 
please him, his judgments are all mercy and love, flow 
ing from a heart full of compassion and kindness. So 
that David, considering these judgments of God, super- 
abounds with hope: Injudiciis tuts supersperavi (Ps. cxviii. 
43). These judgments made him happy and consoled 
him: Judicia tua jucunda (Ib. 39): Memor fui judiciorum 
tuorinn ct consolatus sum (71). 52). 

before Holy Communion. 377 

Ah, this great God is only too loving and generous to 
those who seek him with love: Bonus cst Dominus aninue 
quarenti ilium (Lam. iii. 25). How good is God to those 
who seek to unite their will with the divine will! Quam 
bonus Isrcel Dcus his qui recto sunt conic! (Ps. Ixxii. i). My 
God, my love, my hope, my all, I desire Thee, and Thee 
alone, to love Thee, to please Thee, and to do Thy will 
in all things. Let me always find Thee; make me agree 
able to Thee; and never let me leave Thee again. Fiat, 
fiat. Amen, amen. 


Vox dilecti mci pulsantis : apcri mi/ii, soror mea, arnica 
mea, cohimba mca, immaculata mea (Cant. v. 2). Such are 
the words which Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament speaks 
to those who love and desire him. Open to me, he says, 
O soul, thy heart, and there I will come to unite myself 
to thee; so that, being one with me, thou mayest be 
come my sister by resemblance, my friend by participa 
tion in my riches, my dove by the gift of simplicity, my 
undefiled by the gift of purity, which I shall communi 
cate to thee. 

And then he goes on to say, Open to me, Quia caput 
me urn plenum cst rore, ct cincinni mei guttis noctium (//>.). 
As if he said: Consider, my beloved, that I have waited 
for thee all the night of the bad life thou hast led in the 
midst of darkness and error. Behold now, instead of 
bringing scourges to chastise thee, I come in the Blessed 
Sacrament, with my hair full of heavenly dew, to ex 
tinguish in thee all impure desires towards creatures, 
and to kindle in thee the happy fire of my love. Come, 
then, O my beloved Jesus, and work in me what Thou 
wilt. I renounce the love of all things, in order to be 
all Thine, and that Thou mayest make me as Thou 
wuuldst have me, entirely united to Thy will. 

3 78 Loving A spirations 


Veniat dilectus meus in hortum suum, et comedat fructus 
pomorum suorum (Cant. v. i). Cornelius a Lapide says 
that this is precisely the invitation that a soul desirous 
of the holy Communion makes to Jesus in the Blessed 
Sacrament. Come, my Beloved, she says, into my poor 
heart, which at one unhappy time did not belong to 
Thee; but which now, by the help of Thy grace, has re 
turned to Thee. Veniat, et comedat f met us pomorum 
suorum: Come and taste in me those virtues which 
Thou dost bring with Thyself when Thou comest to me. 
O my Lord, at least for the honor of Thy majesty, 
purify my heart, adorn it, inflame it with Thy love, and 
make it beautiful in Thy sight, that it may be a worthy 
dwelling-place for Thee. 


Ad -ubera portabimini (fs. Ixvi. 12). It is thus that 
Jesus from the sacred altars invites our souls. Come, 
he says, and suck my divine milk, which I give you in 
this Sacrament, wherein I offer you my own blood to 
drink. But what shepherd, says St. John Chrysostom, 
ever feeds his sheep with his own blood ? Even mothers 
give their children to nurses to be fed. But Thou, O 
divine Pastor, art so enamoured of our souls as to w r ish 
to nourish them with Thine own blood. St. Catharine 
of Sienna, then, might well, in approaching holy Com 
munion, pant, as it were, to suck the divine milk, in the 
same way as an infant presses anxiously to suck the 
milk from its mother s breast. And well might the 
sacred spouse say to her beloved, Meliora sunt ubera tua 
vino (Cant. i. i); signifying that she esteemed the milk 
of this sacrament, as the sacred interpreters explain it, 
above -all the pleasures of the world, which are transi 
tory and vain, as are transitory and vain also the joys 
and pleasures of wine. 

before Holy Communion. 379 

O my beloved Jesus, since Thou wilt feed me this 
morning with Thine own blood in holy Communion, it 
is but reasonable that I should willingly renounce all 
the delights and pleasures that the world might give 
me. Yes, I give them all up; I protest that I choose 
rather to suffer all evils united to Thee, than to enjoy 
all the goods of the world away from Thee. It is suffi 
cient happiness for me to please Thee, who. art worthy 
of all that we can do to please Thee. I will say, then, 
with St. Ignatius of Loyola: Amor em tuitm selum cum 
gratia tua mi/ii clones, ci dives sum satis. 


Comedite, amid, ct bibitc, et incbriamini, carissimi (Cant. 
v. i). The " friends," that is beginners who scarcely 
enjoy the divine friendship, when they receive holy 
Communion feed indeed on the flesh of Jesus Christ, but 
they eat with labor; while those who are on the way to 
perfection eat with less difficulty. But by the " dearly 
beloved " are meant the perfect, who, inebriated with 
holy love, live almost out of the worl d, forgetting all 
things, even themselves, and think only how they may 
love and please their God. 

My beloved Jesus, I am not yet perfect; but Thou 
canst make me perfect. I am not dear to Thee, and it 
is my own fault, because I have been ungrateful and un 
faithful; but Thou canst make me become so, by in 
ebriating me this morning with Thy love: Adveniat 
regnum timm. Come, my beloved Lord, and take pos 
session of my whole soul. Establish Thy kingdom in 
me; so that Thou alone mayst reign in me, that Thy 
love alone may command me, and that Thy love only 
may I obey. Inebriate me, inebriate me entirely; make 
me forget all creatures, myself, my interests, and all, that 
I may love nothing but Thee, my God, my treasure, 
all my good, my all; may I sigh for Thee alone, seek 

380 Loving Aspirations 

Thee alone, think of Thee alone, and please Thee alone. 
Do this by the merits of Thy Passion. This only do I 
ask of Thee: this I hope. 


Fulcite me floribus, stipate me malis; quia amorc langueo 
(Cant. ii. 5). The languor of the soul is when, forgetful 
of herself and her affairs, she thinks only of seeking 
refreshment for her languishing love by holy desires, 
which are the flowers, and by good works, which are the 
fruits, of Divine love. 

O my God, O Blessed Sacrament, since Thou wilt 
have me to be all Thine, make me what Thou wouldst 
have me. Make me forget everything that does not 
belong to Thy love. Increase in me always more and 
more the desire of pleasing Thee. Grant that these 
flowers may not always remain flowers; make them also 
become fruits, by my doing and suffering something for 
Thee, who hast done and suffered only too much for 
me. O God, O God of my soul, make Thyself loved, 
but really loved, by me not only in word, but in deed 
before death comes upon me. 


Di Ice tits me us candid us et rubicundus, elect us ex mil lib us 
(Cant. v. 10). Our beloved Jesus is all white by his 
purity, and all red by the flames of his divine love. My 
spotless Lamb, all burning with love for me, when wilt 
Thou make me like to Thyself? pure as Thou art, O 
purest lily ?. burning with love of Thee as Thou dost 
burn with love of me ? Yes, I do renounce all other 
love, and choose for myself Thy sweet love, my God, 
my all. Begone, ye creatures; what do you want with 
me? Go and enjoy the love of those who seek you. I 
wish only for my God; for God alone will I keep all my 
heart and all my affections. 

before Holy Communion. 38 1 


Benignitas et humanitas apparuit Salvatoris nostri Dei 
(Tit. iii. 4). St. Paul says, that God, by making him 
self man, showed the world how far his goodness to 
wards us went. But by giving himself in this sacrament 
he makes us know the depth of the tenderness of his 
love towards our souls: Nonnc insania vidctur diccrc : 
Manducate mcam canton, bibite mciun sanguincm ? St. 
Augustine says, does it not seem a madness, Jesus 
Christ saying to us, as he said in that blessed night: 
Accipitc et com edit e : hoc est corpus me urn ? O men, he says, 
to make you understand how much I love you, I will 
that you should come and feed on my very flesh. O 
holy faith! And who among us would have been able 
to demand so much? Who could have even thought of 
it, if Jesus had not thought it and done it? Some of 
the followers of Jesus Christ, when they heard this from 
his mouth, that is, that he wished to give them his body 
to eat, said that this was too hard a thing, and that they 
could neither believe nor hear it: Durus est hie sermo, et 
quis potcs cum audirc ? (John, vi. 61). And they went so 
far as to leave him, because they would not believe it: 
but yet it is of faith that so it is. 

But what else does Jesus Christ ask of us by all this 
he has done for us, but that we should love him ? as the 
Lord had once before instructed his people: Et mine, 
Israel, quid Dominus Deus tints petit a te nisi ut . . . diligas 
eum ac servias Domino Deo tuo in toto corde tuo ? 

O my most loving Jesus, what dost Thou not give, 
what dost Thou not promise to those that love Thee? 
Thou dost promise them Thy love: Ego diligentcs me 
diligo (Prov. viii. 17). Thou dost promise them Thy 
caresses, even when they have already turned their 
backs upon Thee: Cotivcrtimini ad me . . . ct convertar ad 
vos (Zach. i. 3). Thou dost promise to come with the 

382 Loving A spirations 

Father and the Holy Spirit to abide forever in their 
souls: Qui autem diligit me, diligetur a Patre meo . . . et 
ad eum veniemiis, et apud eum mansionem faciemus (John, 
xiv. 21, 23). 

And what more hast Thou to promise and to give to 
entice men to love Thee ? My dearest Lord, I see how 
it is; Thou dost wish also to be loved by me: yes, I love 
Thee with all my heart; and if I do not love Thee, do 
Thou teach me to love Thee; make me to love Thee, 
and to love Thee above all things: Da quodjubes, et jube 
quod vis. 


Nolite me considerare, quod fusca sim, quia decoloravit me 
sol (Cant. i. 5). The heat of my passions, said the sacred 
spouse (and still more ought I to say it, O my dear 
Jesus), has deformed and blackened me: Nigra sum, sed 
formosa (Cant. i. 4). But if I am black by my own works, 
I am beautiful by Thy merits, O my Redeemer. I was 
black at one time, when I was alone and separated 
from Thee; but now that I am united to Thee, Thy 
grace, Thy beauty, Thy love has made me beautiful. 
Yes, my Jesus, so do I hope. Mayest Thou be blessed 
forever. Never permit me to lose Thee again, and to 
return to my former depravity. I love Thee, O infinite 
beauty; I wish also that my soul should be beautiful, 
always beautiful, that it may be always pleasing in Thy 
divine sight, and that Thou mayest always love it. 

After Holy Communion. 


Trahc me : post te curremus in odorcm ungucntorum tuorum 
(Cant. i. 3). Since, then, O my dear Jesus, I cannot, 
while in this life, ascend to Thee, Thou hast willed to 
descend to me, to unite Thyself to me in this sacrament 
of love: draw me, my Lord, all to Thee. I do not wish 

after Holy Communion. 383 

to draw Thee to me, that Thou shouldst do my pleas 
ure; but I desire that Thou shouldst draw meso entirely 
to Thee by Thy sweet attractions, that I may not be 
able to desire or do anything else but Thy most holy 
will. It is just that my inclinations should yield to Thy 
holy dispositions. Unite me wholly to Thyself; and so 
united, and free from earthly affections, I will run with 
Thee in the path of virtue, and so shall be able to repose 
wholly in Thy divine will both in this life and in the 
next: In pace in idipsum dormiaui et requiescam. 


Introduxit me rex in cellam vinariam ; ordinavit in me 
caritatem (Cant. ii. 4). It is precisely by this cellar of 
wine that St. Bonaventure understands holy Commu 
nion, which introduces and then unites the soul to its 
divine king, and gives it to taste that wine of love which 
destroys the desire of created things, and infuses a well- 
regulated love, that is just towards itself, charitable 
towards its neighbor, supreme towards God, loving him 
above all things, who above all things deserves to be 

O Jesus, my King, only Lord of my heart, Thou hast 
already brought me into the beautiful cellar of Thy love, 
that is, into Thyself, uniting me to Thee by means of 
this sacrament of love. Yes, my Lord, I already feel 
my heart changed. I feel a holy desire, which gives me 
peace, and makes me loathe all impure affections, and 
enkindles in me the pure love of Thee. O my Jesus, 
since Thou hast given me an entrance to this beautiful 
cellar, let me no more depart from it. Since Thou hast 
united Thyself to me, do not leave me again. Detach 
me from the love of all creatures. Unite me to Thee 
continually more and more on this earth, that I may one 
day come to be perfectly united to Thee in heaven; 
where I shall love Thee face to face with all my strength, 

384 Loving Aspirations 

without interruption and without imperfection through 
out all eternity. 


Dilectus metis descendit ad hortum suum . . . ut pascatur 
in hortis, et lilia colligat (Cant. vi. i). My sweetest Saviour, 
since Thou dost descend from heaven to come into my 
soul, by Thy grace do Thou make it become Thy gar 
den, that Thou mayest gather in it lilies and fruits 
which are agreeable to Thee. Pardon me, if I have 
offended Thee. Receive me, if I have left Thee, now 
that I return penitent to Thee. Give me that purity 
which Thou dost desire to see in me. Give me strength 
to do what Thou desirest. Grant me Thy true love, 
and then shall I become pleasing to Thee. I sacrifice 
to Thee all my inclinations, and I desire and wish for 
nothing but to please Thee. 


The sacred spouse called her beloved Totus desidera- 
bilis. Jesus, to those souls who love him as spouses, 
makes himself altogether desirable, whether he chastises 
or consoles them, whether he appears near or distant, 
because he does it all for love, and that he may be loved. 
Treat me, then, O my Jesus, as Thou wilt, I will always 
love Thee; whether Thou dost give me sweetness or 
tribulations, I know that all will come to me from 
Thy loving Heart, and that all will be for my greater 
good : Paratitm cor meum, Deus, paratum cor meum. Be 
hold my will is ready, O Lord, to accept all that Thou 
shalt ordain. Benedicam Dominum in omni tempore. At 
all times, whether prosperous or adverse, I will bless 
Thee and love Thee, O my Creator. I neither seek nor 
merit any consolation from Thee; for I have given Thee 
nothing but bitterness by my sins: I seek only Thy 
good pleasure. Provided Thou art satisfied with me, I 

after Holy Communion. 385 

shall be content with any punishment. My Jesus, my 
Jesus, whether far off or near Thou shalt always be de 
sirable to me, always dear; whether Thou dost console 
or afflict me, I will always love Thee, always thank 


Qua est ista, quceascendit de deserto, deliciis affluent, innixa 
super dilectum suum? (Cant. viii. 5.) Who, then, are 
those souls who, living on the earth, esteem it a desert; 
so that, detached from visible things, they live only to 
God, as if there was no one else but God, whom alone 
they love and desire to please, and in this way they 
almost go out of the world, and raise themselves above 
it, enjoying the delights which are experienced by those 
who wish for God alone, and who place in God all their 
hopes ? 

Who, then, are these faithful souls, if not those who 
often and with pure love unite themselves to Jesus in 
the Blessed Sacrament ? Yes, my God, such do I also 
desire to be by the means of Thy grace, detached from 
all things, and all Thine. Henceforth the world shall 
be to me a desert, where, flying from all attachment to 
creatures, I will think of nothing but Thee; as if Thou 
and I were the only persons there. In Thee alone will 
I put all my confidence, all my love, O God, O beloved 
God, my hope, my love, my all. 


Si murus est, adificemus super eum propugnacula argentea: 
si ostium est, compingamus illud tabulis cedrinis (Cant. viii. 
9). This is precisely what Jesus does when he comes to 
a soul in holy Communion. He sees that she is a 
wall too weak to be able to resist the assaults of hell; 
therefore, by the virtue of the sacrament, he fortifies her 
with bulwarks of silver, that is, with his divine light. 

386 Loving Aspirations 

He sees that she is a door inclined easily to be corrupted, 
and he renews it, adjusting it with planks of strength 
and perseverance, as is signified by cedar, which is a 
strong and incorruptible wood; that is, with the gifts of 
holy fear, with detachment from creatures, with the love 
of prayer, with supplications, with holy desires, and still 
more with the gift of divine love, which are the support 
of holy perseverance. Pants cor hominis confirmat. Jesus 
teaches us, that as earthly bread preserves the life of the 
body , so the heavenly bread of holy Communion pre 
serves the life of the soul: Qui manducat me, et ipse 
vivet propter me. Qui manducat meam carnem, et Mbit meum 
sanguine m in me manet, et ego in illo. Such are the gra 
cious promises which Jesus makes to him who receives 
him in the Blessed Sacrament. 

Ah, my Jesus, who is weaker and more unfaithful than 
I ? Thou knowest well how many times I have yielded 
to my enemies, and how many times they have seized 
the gate, that is, my will, by which they have entered to 
ruin me by causing me to lose Thy friendship. Oh, 
fortify me with Thy light and strength, that I may no 
more lose Thee or drive Thee from me. My Lord and 
my Redeemer, if I am to turn back and offend Thee 
again, oh ! let me die now, while I hope that I am in 
Thy grace and united to Thee. I trust not myself, 
no; nor will I ever, my dear Jesus, live without Thee. 
But as long as I live I am in danger of changing my 
will and betraying Thee, as I have done before; do Thou 
help me. Help me also, most holy Mary; have pity on 
me: thou, who art the Mother of perseverance, obtain 
for me this gift from thy Jesus. Of thee I seek it, of 
thee I hope it, of thee I ask it. 


Invent quern diligit anima mea; tenui eum, nee dimittam 
(Cant. iii. 4). So ought every soul to say who is united 

after Holy Communion. 387 

with Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament: Creatures, depart 
from me; go out altogether from my heart. I loved 
you once, because I was blind; now I love you not, nor 
can I ever love you again. I have found another good, 
infinitely more delightful than you: I have found in my 
self my Jesus, who has enamoured me by his beauty; to 
this my beloved one I have given myself entirely. He 
has already accepted me, so that I am no longer my own. 
Creatures, farewell: I am not, nor shall I ever again be 
yours; but I am and shall be always Christ s. He, too, 
is mine, and will always be mine: Tcnui cum, nee dimittam. 
Now I have pressed him to my heart, receiving him in 
holy Communion; for the future I will hold him with 
my love, and will not let him leave me any more. 

Permit me, O my most amiable Saviour, to embrace 
Thee so closely, that I may never more be separated 
from Thee. Behold, I press Thee to myself, my Jesus; 
I love Thee, I love Thee; and O that I could love Thee 
worthily ! I wish that my only happiness and repose 
should be to love Thee and please Thee. Do Thou 
command all creatures to leave me, and not to disturb 
me; say to them: AJjnro vos . . . nc suscitctis, neque evigi- 
lare faciatis dilectam. Ah, if I do not wish it, creatures 
cannot enter in to disturb and divide me from Thee. 
Strengthen, then, my will, unite my miserable heart to 
Thy divine Heart, that it may always will what Thou 
w ilt. Do this, Lord, by Thy merits. Amen, amen. So 
do I hope; so may it be. 


Surge, aquilo, ct vcni, austcr ; pcrfla hortum meum, ct fluant 
aromata illius (Cant. iv. 16). Fly from me, () north wind, 
hurtful and cold wind of earthly affections; and come, 
thou soft warm breeze of the sacred love of the Holy 
Spirit, which comes from the Heart of my Jesus in the 
Blessed Sacrament. Do thou alone breathe through my 

388 Loving A spirations 

soul, which has been chosen by Jesus for his garden of 
delights. Blow; for by thy breath how many fresh and 
sweet odors of holy virtues shalt thou draw forth from 
me ! 

My Jesus, my Jesus, Thou canst do this; and this do 
I hope from Thee. 


Messui myrrham meam cum aromatibus mcis (Cant. v. i). A 
soul that has received Jesus must be careful to gather 
myrrh, that it may always offer the sweet odor of those 
virtues which arise from mortification. Comcdi favum 
cum melle meo (II).). In like manner, the soul that loves 
God alone is not satisfied with the honey, but will also 
have the honeycomb; therefore she says to Jesus: 

O Lord, Thy consolations are not sufficient for me 
unless Thou givest me Thyself, who art the fountain of 
consolation; the fruits of love are not enough for me, if 
Thou dost not give me also Thyself, who art the object 
of my love. So say I to Thee, my Jesus, that Thou alone 
wilt suffice for me; I am ready to renounce all Thy de 
lights, provided I possess Thee alone, my God and my 
only good. I love Thee, not to please myself, but to 
please Thee; for Thou dost desire to be loved by me, 
and Thou art worthy of all our love, whether Thou dost 
console or try us. 


Nihil mihi deer it; in loco pascua ibi me colocavit (Ps. xxii. 
i, 2). Ah ! my beloved Jesus, sin-ce Thou dost invite me 
in this feast of love to feed on Thy divine flesh, what 
more can I ever want ? Dominus illuminatio mca et salus 
mea; quern timebo? (Ps. xxvi. i.) Whom shall I fear, if 
Thou, O God omnipotent, art my light and my salvation ? 
I give myself all to Thee. Accept me, and then do with 
me what Thou wilt; chastise me, show Thine indigna 
tion towards me when Thou wilt; kill me, destroy me, 

after Holy Communion. 389 

and I will say always with Job: Etiam si occiderit me, in 
ipso sperabo (Job, xiii. 15). Whilst I am Thine, and Thou 
lovest me, I am content to be treated by Thee with 
every hardship; to be even annihilated, if it so pleases 


In manibus meis descripsi. te: muri tui coram oculis meis 
semper (Is. xlix. 16). See the loving care that God takes 
of a soul that he wishes to have to himself. He carries 
it written in his hands, so that he may never forget it, 
and says, that sooner would a mother forget her own 
son than he a soul in grace: Et si ilia oblita fuerit, ego 
tamen non obliviscar tui (Ib. 15). 

Et muri tui coram oculis meis semper. His eyes are al 
ways open to watch over that soul, so that its enemies 
do it no harm: Scuto bonce voluntatis tuce coronasti nos (Ps. 
v. 13). Our good God surrounds us with the protection 
of his good-will, wholly solicitous for our good; and so 
he delivers us from all dangers. Ah, my God, infinite 
goodness, who more than any other lovest me and de- 
sirest my good, I abandon myself entirely to Thee: let 
every other hope fail me, provided Thou dost not fail 
me. I know that I also must co-operate by obeying Thy 
holy will: Domine, quid me vis facere ? Nothing else can 
I say; behold me ready and determined, my sweet Sav 
iour, to do what Thou pleasest: Fiat voluntas tua. Noth 
ing else do I desire but to accomplish Thy will. But do 
Thou help me, otherwise I shall do no good at all. Teach 
me not only to know, but also to do, all that pleases 
Thee: Doce me facere voluntatem tuam. Eternal Father, 
grant that I may be able to say with truth, as Thy Jesus 
did whilst he was on earth: Ego qua placita sunt ei facio 
semper. My God, this I desire, this I pray for, and this 
I hope, through the merits of Thy Son and the most 
holy Mary. 

390 Loving Aspirations 


Prczbe, fill mi, cor tuum mihi (Prov. xiii. 26). O my soul, 
behold this is all that thy Lord asks of thee, when he 
comes to visit thee; he would have thy heart and thy 
will. He gives himself to thee without reserve; it is but 
reasonable that thou shouldst also give him all thyself 
without reserve, taking care to follow his \vill in all 
things: Revertetur enim Dominus, ut gandeat super te in 
omnibus bonis (Dent. xxx. 9). Act in such a manner that 
Jesus, when he comes to thee again, may find that thou 
hast executed all his designs. 

My Jesus, I wish to please Thee; help Thou my desire. 
Give me strength, and do with me whatsoever Thou 


Quid est quod debui ultra facer e vinece mecc ct non fed? (Is. 
v. 4.) My soul, hear what thy God says to thee: what 
ought I to do more for thee than I have done? For 
love of thee I became man: Vcrbum caro factus sum. In 
stead of Lord, I have become servant: formam. servi ac- 
cipiens. I went so far as to be born in a stable, like a 
worm for worms are born in stables: vermis sum, et non 
homo. I died for thee, I died upon the tree of shame: 
Factus obediens usque ad mortem, mortem autem crucis. What 
remained more for me to do, but to give my life for thee ? 
Majorem hac dilectionem nemo /labet, ut animam ponat quis 
pro amicis suis. But my love has invented and done 
more for thee. After my death, I have chosen to leave 
myself in the most Blessed Sacrament, to give my whole 
self as food. Tell me what more could I have done tO ( 
gain thy love ? 

It is true, my Lord and my Redeemer; what can I an 
swer? I have nothing to say. Thou hast been too good 
to me, and I have been too ungrateful towards Thee. I 
wonder at Thy immense goodness; I see my own base 
ness, and I throw myself at Thy feet, and say: Have pity 

after Holy Communion. 391 

on me, my Jesus, though I have repaid Thy love with so 
much ingratitude. Avenge Thyself, therefore, I pray 
Thee, avenge Thyself upon me, and chastise me; but do 
not abandon me; chastise me and change me. Let me 
not live any longer ungrateful to Thee. Grant that I 
may love Thee at least out of gratitude, and that before 
I die I may make Thee some recompense for Thy love. 


Pone me lit signaculum super cor tuiim (Cant. viii. 6). 
Yes, my beloved Jesus, since I have consecrated to Thee 
all my heart, it is but just that I should put Thee as a 
seal of love upon it, to close the entrance against any 
other affection; and thus to make known to all that my 
heart is Thine, and that Thou alone possessest dominion 
over it. But, my Lord, what dost Thou hope from me, 
if Thou dost not do the work Thyself? I can do noth 
ing but give Thee my poor heart, that Thou mayest dis 
pose of it according to Thy pleasure. Behold, I give it 
all to Thee, I consecrate it to Thee, I sacrifice it to Thee. 
Do Thou possess it forever; I will no longer have any 
part in it. If Thou lovest it, Thou knowest how to pre 
serve it for Thyself. Leave it no longer in my hands, 
lest I should again take it from Thee. O God most lov 
ing, O infinite love, since Thou hast so constrained me 
to love Thee, I pray Thee make Thyself loved by me. I 
only wish to live that I may love Thee, I only wish to 
love Thee in order to please Thee. Thou who dost 
work so many miracles to be able to enter into my heart 
in this sacrament, work also this one, make my heart all 
Thine; but all, all, all, without division, without reserve, 
so that I may say, both in this life and in eternity, that 
Thou art the only Lord of my heart, and my only trea 
sure: Dens cordis mei, et pars mea Dcus in ceternum. 

Most holy Mary, my Mother and my hope, do thou 
help me, and I shall certainly be heard. Amen, amen. 
This I wish, this I hope. So be it. 

Aspirations of ouc to Sesus 


MY well-beloved, my love, my life, my repose, my only 
good. Live Jesus, Mary, Joseph, and Teresa! 

The grace that we should ask of God above all graces, says 
St. Francis de Sales, is the grace or gift of love. Hence we 
should endeavor in all our prayers, all our actions, all our sighs, 
all our intentions, to obtain from God this holy love, which is 
the gift of all gifts. 

We shall here find many aspirations that a loving soul can 
make to God ; but it must be observed, first, that the best are 
those that love itself infuses into our heart ; and secondly, that 
when the soul feels itself united with God by anyone of the fol 
lowing inspirations, or by any other, one should not go farther, 
but should dwell upon it and repeat it as long as one finds 
therein nourishment and feeling. 

My God, prostrate at Thy feet, I ask of Thee, not 
pleasures, nor riches, nor honors, but only Thy love; 
and at each step that I take, at each look, at each respi 
ration, I intend to ask for Thy love. 

My dearly beloved Jesus, Thou hast said that Thou 
wouldst permit Thyself to be found even by him who is 
seeking Thee, and Thou hast even gone so far as to seek 
me when I fled from Thee, wilt Thou flee from me now 
that I seek Thee, and I seek only Thee? 

Ah ! deign to bind me to Thee by these sweet bonds 
with which Thou bindest those that love Thee; but 

1 This is a translation from a manuscript left by the holy author, and 
unpublished in Italian. We think it to be a fruit and a testimony of his 
fervor during the last vears of his life. ED. 

For Meditation and Communion. 393 

bind me in such a manner that I may never more be 
separated from Thee. 

Inflame me with Thy love. Ah ! one spark of this 
divine fire would be sufficient to make me forget every 
thing; but I am not content with only a spark; I wish 
to have a flame, I wish to have a thousand flames, I wish 
to have a conflagration that will instantly destroy in me 
all affection for creatures, and make me burn entirely 
for Thee, O infinite and only good ! 

I give myself entirely to Thee. Dost Thou not accept 
me? Thou hast said that Thou dost not know how to 
repel him that comes to Thee: Him that cometh to me, I 
will not cast out} Ah ! my God, receive me, take me en 
tirely and unite me to Thee in such a manner that I may 
think only of Thee, that I may love only Thee, that I 
may seek and desire only Thee; be Thou the only object 
of all my thoughts, of all my love, of all my desires. 

Ah ! Thou who truly lovest me, tell me, what dost 
Thou intend to obtain from me by so many mercies 
that Thou heapest upon me, by so many invitations that 
Thou dost address to me, by so many lights that Thou 
givest me? Dost Thou wish to have my heart? Here 
it is: take it; I give it entirely to Thee. 

Vain creatures, leave me; you shall see me no more. 
Ask me no more to have affection for you, since I desire 
to have nothing more from you. Give to whomsoever 
asks for them, your pleasures, your goods, your honors; 
as for myself, I have found him whom I love, I am satis 
fied with having him: I found Him whom my soul lovcth? 
He who alone merits my affections has taken them all 
for himself. 

My well-beloved ! detach me from all that is not God. 
Console me Thyself when I am afflicted; sustain me, 
when I am losing courage; and chastise me also Thyself 

1 " Eum qui venit ad me, non ejiciam foras." John, vi. 37. 

2 " Inveni quern diligit anima mea." Cant. iii. 4. 

394 Aspirations of Love to Jesus. 

when necessary. I will kiss Thy lovely hand that strikes 
me through kindness towards me. Provided only that 
Thou dost not deprive me of the happiness of loving 
Thee, send me all chastisements. 

Loving souls, you that live in this beautiful country 
of love, where everything breathes love ! Qualis est Di- 
lectus vcster, et queer emus eum vobiscum: Tell us something 
of the beauties of your well-beloved, whom you now 
contemplate unveiled; inflame us with love, we who are 
poor exiles here below, in order that we also may seek 
him through love. 

But I should rather say with the sacred Spouse: Come, 
O south wind, blow through my garden, and let the aromatical 
spices thereof flow. 1 Come from the middle of the day, 
O breath of the Holy Spirit! Come, let me feel thy 
powerful influence in the garden of my soul, and then 
its perfumes of love will spread, and will satisfy the 
heart with my God. 

Jesus, sweet object of my love ! wound my heart 
with one of these fiery darts that cause souls to die to 
all that is not Thee, and make them live only with Thy 

My well-beloved, since Thou callest me again to Thy 
love by enlightening me with Thy light and making me 
hear Thy voice, Trahe me post te: for pity s sake, draw 
me to Thyself, and do not abandon me before Thou 
dost not see me belong entirely to Thee. 

My God, I already feel a great desire to love Thee; 
but I feel myself too weak to accomplish this. O Lord! 
Thou who inspirest me with this good desire, grant me 
strength to accomplish this; give me all the love that 
Thou askest of me. Thou who by Thy grace makest 
me know the riches of Thy goodnes, lead me to love 

1 " Veni, Auster: perfla hortum meum, et fluant arcmata illius." 
Cant. iv. 16. 

For Meditation and Communion. 395 

Thee as much as I can, and as much as I desire to love 

Loving souls, you who in this world seek only God, 
raise your voice, and make intelligible to poor foolish 
worldlings how much Jesus, even in this valley of tears, 
obtains more contentment for his servants by the gift 
of his love than this world is able to give to its followers 
by bestowing upon them its goods. 

O Lord ! grant me Thy love, and I renounce all the 
other goods that Thou canst give me. Help me to love 
Thee, and I consent to be deprived of everything, to be 
despised, abandoned by every one, weighed down by all 
evils; for there is no sorrow capable of afflicting a soul 
that loves Thee with her whole heart. 





Before Communion. 

O MY true and perfect Love ! what affection is this 
that brings Thee to such a miserable thing as I ? Come, 
yes come, desired of my heart; my-jsoul sighs for Thee; 
I offer to Thee, O my God, this Communion, to satisfy 
the desire Thou hast to come and unite me to Thyself, 
my God and my all. Oh, what a wonder ! A God de 
scends from heaven for me, and hides his majesty under 
the vile clothing of the species of bread and wine ! Oh, 
how true it is, my Lord, that having always loved Thine 
own, Thou hast loved them especially at the end, when 
Thou didst institute this divine sacrament. 

O my God ! Thou art goodness itself; how, then, is it 
possible that I can love anything else but Thee ? Ah, 
Lord, draw me always closer and closer into Thy Heart. 
I prefer Thy love and Thy goodness above all that is to 
be found in the world. Thou art the only object of my 
affections. I wish for none other but Thee. I will leave 
all in order to love Thee. Give me grace to do it; with 
out that I can do nothing. 

Ah, my beloved, if Thou wouldst have me look to 
Thee, do Thou first turn to me, and by Thy spirit draw 
mine to Thee. I am nothing, I can do nothing, I am 
worth nothing; therefore let me not be ungrateful for 
all the graces that Thou hast deigned to grant me. I 
offer myself for Thy love, to be entirely deprived of 

before Holy Communion. 397 

every sensible consolation, and to suffer all the afflictions 
Thou shalt be pleased to send me, whether in time or 
eternity. I am, and will be all Thine; I dare to ask 
Thee not only for Thy gifts, but also for Thyself. I de 
sire to receive Thee, to be more united to Thee. 

O Eternal Father, I offer to Thee the Passion of Thy 
Son for my salvation and that of the whole world. Look 
not at my sins; but look at the love of Thy beloved Son 
towards us, which has drawn him into this sacrament. 
By this love, my God, have pity on me ! 

My Redeemer, I acknowledge myself to be infinitely 
unworthy of approaching to receive Thee, by reason of 
my sins and my want of purity. Therefore I say to 
Thee, Lord, I am nojt worthy. Even if I had all the 
love of the seraphim, I should still be unfit to receive 
Thee; again, then, I repeat, Lord, I am not worthy. 

Come, O my sweet Saviour, and work in me that 
which Thou dost come to me to do. I am nothing but 
wretchedness; but Thy goodness does not let Thee see 
my misery. Come into my soul and sanctify it; take 
possession of my heart and purify it; enter into my body 
and keep it; and never separate me from Thy love. 

Burn, O consuming fire, all Thou dost see in me un 
worthy of Thy presence, and that may put an obstacle to 
Thy grace and love. O Mother of my Redeemer, have 
compassion on me a poor sinner; pray for me, that by 
thy help I may embrace thy Son with perfect love, and 
become a soul after his own Heart. 


After Communion and at the Visit to the Most Holy 

O excess of love ! Sacred Host, I adore Thee within 
me. One heart is too little to love Thee, my Jesus; one 
tongue is not enough to praise Thy goodness. O my 

398 Devout Aspirations 

Saviour, how great are my obligations to Thee, for visit 
ing such a poor creature as I am ! I offer myself all to 
Thee, in gratitude for so great a favor. 

No, I will no longer live in myself, but that Jesus alone 
should live in me. He is mine, and I am his, for all 
eternity. Oh, love, love; no more sins ! I will never 
forget the goodness and mercy of God, my Saviour and 
my guest. Yes, my God, I firmly believe that Thou, 
body and soul, art in my breast: Thy divinity is now 
within me, and united to me. 

I adore Thee, and I venerate Thee, as if I were the 
smallest worm crawling along in the dust of its own 
nothingness, to testify the desire I have to give Thee 
glory. But is it possible that Thy infinite Majesty 
should have deigned to visit the least of Thy creatures ? 
With a softened heart, my dear Saviour, I thank Thee 
for this great gift. I thank Thee for it a thousand 
times. Grant that I may thank Thee for it as Thou 
dost deserve. May Thy most ,holy Mother, and all the 
angels and saints, give Thee thanks for it ! On my 
part I offer Thee all the praises and thanksgivings that 
have been and ever shall be offered to Thee by all 

O my God, Thou dost come to unite Thyself to me, 
to apply to my soul more abundantly the merits of Thy 
Passion, and to sanctify me. Accomplish in me, then, 
all that Thou didst come to do. My God, Thou art all- 
wise and all-powerful, let not the fruit of Thy coming 
be lost: unite Thyself to me, and me to Thee, by an in 
separable union and a perfect love. Unite the abyss of 
Thy mercy with the abyss of my misery, and make me 
live a life all divine. 

My Jesus, Thou knowest what is wanting in me; Thou 
knowest that without Thee I can do nothing; Thou 
knowest -my weakness: have pity on me; give me 
humility, purity of heart, love, and conformity to Thy 

after Holy Communion. 399 

holy will, strength against my bad habits, remission of 
my sins, and grace never more to commit them. Give 
me a thorough contempt for all things, so that I may 
love none other but Thee. Give me patience to suffer 
for Thy love all. that may happen to me. I hope all 
from Thee. O most holy Virgin,. my dear Mother, beg 
of thy Son, by the love he bears thee, to grant me, for 
thy sake, all I ask. 

My God, and my only good, I am more pleased in Thy 
infinite perfections than if they were my own. I rejoice 
that nothing in the world can take them from Thee, or 
diminish them. Come, then, Thou art always welcome; 
always perfect and infinite in Thy majesty, O my Jesus, 
my Love and my God. Come and make me all Thine. 

My Saviour, by that infinite goodness which made 
Thee come down to this earth, I pray Thee, let me ex 
perience the effects of Thy love, in feeling my soul so 
absorbed in Thee, that, despising all earthly things, it 
may see nothing but Thee, and think of nothing but 
Thee; that the same love whicli made Thee die for me 
on the cross may make me in like manner die in Thee, 
to live in Thee for all eternity. 

God of my soul, who meritest to be loved above all 
creatures, I protest that I hold Thee as the only object 
of my affections, and I prefer Thee to all the goods of 
the world, and to myself. I desire to be faithful to Thee, 
and never more to see myself separated from Thee. 

1 resign and abandon myself entirely to Thee, em 
bracing with all affection and respect Thy will, and Thy 
just designs over me. And I pray that whatever Thou 
hast ordained concerning me in time and in eternity 
may be accomplished; but I hope one day to see Thy 
divine face and Thy infinite beauty. My God, draw me 
to Thee, to love Thee and to burn with Thy love, by 
which I would be entirely consumed. Hide me, I pray 
Thee, in Thyself, that no creature may ever be able to 

400 Devout Aspirations 

find me again. O eternal Father, for the love of Thy 
Son, fill my memory with holy thoughts, which shall 
constrain it to have a continual remembrance of Thee 
and of Thy Son. Oh make me know and do all that 
Thou desirest of me. And Thou, O Holy Spirit, fill my 
will with holy affections, that shall bring forth all those 
fruits which proceed from Thy love. Illuminate me 
with Thy light; so shall I walk straight to Thee, and 
my will shall be no longer free to give itself to any but 

My God and my all, I will no more seek anything out 
of Thee, now that I can find all things in Thee. O mer 
ciful Father, make me have a care for Thy service, as 
Thou hast had so much for my good. I wish to em 
ploy all my thoughts in seeking ways to please Thee, 
and in preserving me from offending Thee any more. 

O incarnate Lord, make me love Thee, and none 
other than Thee. Remove from me all occasions that 
might drive me from Thy love. Let my heart be always 
occupied in contemplating Thee and serving Thee, Thou 
that art the master-love of all hearts. Thou didst but 
come into the world to dwell in the hearts Thou hadst 
redeemed with Thy blood; then may my heart be all 
Thine, do Thou possess it. See, then, all my wants, and 
enlighten me; excite me, and make me prompt to obey 
Thy will. 

O Jesus Almighty, take from me all that can hinder 
the effects of Thy power and goodness. I renounce my 
liberty, and consecrate it entirely to the designs of Thy 
will. Have pity on me, and cure me of all my impuri 
ties and infidelity; fill me with Thy grace and wisdom. 
I abandon myself wholly to Thee, O my Jesus; I wish 
to be all Thine, I wish to employ myself with fervor for 
Thy glory, and to suffer patiently all tribulations at the 
sight of Thy sufferings. Enable me to employ myself 
solely in things that are pleasing to Thee. My God, let 

after Holy Communion. 401 

me discern Thee with a true faith, to know Thee and 
love Thee; let me know Thy will to fulfil it, let me see 
myself to confess my deformity, to abhor and humble 
myself; and in the end let me see Thy divine face in all 
eternity. Lord, I have wasted my substance, like the 
prodigal son; but I have not been able to exhaust Thy 
mercies. Grant that I may take Thy will for the sole 
guide of my life, and not my own senses nor human 
respect. Write in my heart the law of Thy love so 
deeply, that it may never be effaced. 

My God, even if there were no place of torment for 
the wicked, I would not leave off loving Thee and suf 
fering for Thee. Make me correspond to Thy desires. 
From this time forth Thou shalt be my portion forever. 
I submit myself with confidence to all that Thou shalt 
ordain for me in time and in eternity. O incarnate 
Word, wash my heart with Thy blood, and imprint 
there, as a sign of Thy love, Thy holy name of Jesus. 

Lord, abandon me not into the power of my vices; re 
member that I am the work of Thy hands; permit me 
not to become the prey of demons. I am a sinner, it is 
true; but I have been redeemed by Thy blood. Eternal 
Father, look at the Passion of Thy Son, whose merits 
sue mercy for me: these I offer to Thee; by these do 
Thou detach me from worldly affections, and fill me 
with Thy love, and make me die with resignation, with 
faith, with confidence, and with perfect love. 

O my Jesus, by that eternal love which Thou hast 
borne me, give me grace to love Thee during the short 
time that remains for me to live on this earth, that I 
may afterwards love Thee eternally in heaven. O God 
of love, make me live only for Thee. When shall I be 
all Thine, as Thou art all mine? When shall I die to 
myself, to live only for Thy love ? I do not even know 
how to give myself to Thee as I ought. Ah, my God, 
take me, and make me all Thine ! 

4O2 Devotit Aspirations 

My God, I wish for my eyesight only to look at Thee; 
for my tongue only to speak of Thee; for my heart only 
to love Thee; for my body only to offer it to Thee; for 
my life only, to sacrifice it to Thee. O God of love, 
give me Thy love. Infinite Power, help my weakness. 
Eternal Wisdom, enlighten my darkness. Immense 
Goodness, pardon my malice. O infinite Goodness, too 
late have I loved and known Thee: do with me what 
Thou pleasest; I wish for nothing but what Thou shalt 

O Blessed Virgin, I rejoice with thee in that thou hast 
gained the heart of thy God; ah, unite me wholly to thy 
Son, speak, to him for me, and obtain for me the grace 
of following all his inspirations. Thou must teach me 
to practice the virtues thou didst exercise on earth, and 
detach me from affection to all that is not God, that I 
may love him with all my strength. 

My God, enkindle Thy love in me, so that I may seek 
nothing else but Thy pleasure; so that nothing may 
please me that does not please Thee; and drive from 
my heart all things that are not agreeable to Thee. 
May I always be able to say with true affection: My 
God, Thee alone do I desire, and nothing more. My 
Jesus, give me a great love for Thy Passion, that, Thy 
sufferings and Thy death being always before my eyes, 
they may continually excite my love towards Thee, 
and make me desirous of rendering Thee some token of 
gratitude for so much love. Give me also -a great love 
to the Most Holy Sacrament of the Altar, in which Thou 
hast revealed the great affection Thou dost bear us. 
Besides this, I beg of Thee to give me a tender devo 
tion to Thy most holy Mother: give me grace always to 
love and serve her; always to have recourse to her inter 
cession, and to induce others to honor her; and give to 
me and to all men a great confidence, first in the merits 
of Thy Passion, and next in the intercession of Mary. 

after Holy Communion. 43 

I pray Thee to grant me a holy death. Enable me at 
that moment to receive Thee with great love in the most 
holy Viaticum; so that, united to Thee, burning with a 
holy fire, and with a great desire of seeing Thee, I may 
go forth from this life to embrace Thy feet the first 
time it shall be given me to see Thee. 

O my King, come and reign alone in my soul; do 
Thou possess it entirely, that it may not serve nor obey 
anything but Thy love. 

O my Jesus, would that I could annihilate myself all 
for Thee, who hast annihilated all Thy life for me ! . 

O Lamb of God, sacrificed on the Cross, remember 
that I am one of those souls that Thou hast redeemed 
with so much suffering and grief. Let me never lose 
Thee. Thou hast given Thyself all to me, let me be all 
Thine; let all my eagerness be to please Thee. I love 
Thee, O immense Good, in order to please Thee; I love 
Thee because Thou art worthy of it: my greatest sorrow 
is to think I have been so long in the world without lov 
ing Thee. 

My beloved Redeemer, make me feel the grief Thou 
hadst for my sins in the garden of Gethsemani. O my 
Jesus, would that I had died before, and had never of 
fended Thee ! Oh, love of my Jesus, Thou art my love 
and my hope ! I will rather lose my life a thousand 
times than lose Thy grace. 

My God, if I had died when I was in sin, I could never 
love Thee again: I thank Thee for giving me time, and 
calling me to love Thee. Now, then, that I can love 
Thee, I will love Thee with all my soul. For this reason 
hast Thou borne with me, that I should love Thee; yes, 
I will love Thee. 

Ah, by the blood which Thou hast shed for me, permit 
me not to betray Thee again: " In Thee, O Lord, have I 
hoped; T shall not be confounded forever." What is 
the world? what are riches? what are pleasures? what 

404 Prayers after Communion. 

are honors? God, God, I will have God alone. My 
God, Thou art sufficient for me, Thou art an infinite 

O my Jesus, bind me altogether to Thy love, and draw 
all my affections to Thee, that I may love none other but 
Thee: make me all Thine before I die. 

Ah, my God, as long as I live I am in danger of losing 
Thee. When shall the day come that I can say to Thee: 
My Jesus, I cannot lose Thee more? 

O Eternal Father, for the love of Jesus Christ, despise 
me not; accept of me to love Thee, and do Thou give 
me Thy love. I wish to love Thee much in this life, 
that I may love Thee much in the next. 

O infinite Good, I love Thee; but make me know the 
great Good that I love, arid give me such a love as Thou 
dost desire. May I conquer all things to please Thee ! 

O Mary, of thee, who so much desirest to see thy Son 
beloved, do I ask this grace, to love him during all the 
remainder of my life; and I desire nothing more. My 
Lady and my Mother, I trust in thee; thou dost obtain 
all thou dost ask of thy God; thou dost pray for all who 
are devoted to thee, pray also for me. 


Petitions to Jesus Christ Received in Holy Communion. 

O MY Jesus, now that Thou, who art the true Life, art 
come to me, make me die to the world, to live only to 
Thee, my Redeemer; by the flames of Thy love, destroy 
in me all that is displeasing to Thee, and give me a true 
desire to gratify and please Thee in all things. 

Give me that true humility which shall make me love 
contempt and self-abjection, and take from me all am 
bition of putting myself forward. Give me the spirit of 

Prayers after Communion. 405 

mortification, that I may deny myself all those things 
that do not tend to Thy love, and may lovingly em 
brace that which is displeasing to the senses and to self- 

Give me a perfect resignation to Thy will, that I may 
accept in peace, pains, infirmities, loss of friends or prop 
erty, desolations, persecutions, and all that comes to me 
from Thy hand. I offer Thee all myself, that Thou 
mayest dispose of me according to Thy pleasure. And 
give me grace always to repeat this entire offering of 
myself, especially at the time of my death. May I, then, 
so sacrifice my life to Thee, with all my affection, in 
union with the sacrifice that Thou didst make of Thy 
life for me to the eternal Father. My Jesus, enlighten 
me, and make me know Thy goodness, and the obliga 
tion I am under to love Thee above all, for the love 
Thou hast borne me in dying for me, and in leaving 
Thyself in the Most Holy Sacrament. 

I pray Thee to give Thy light to all infidels who know 
Thee not, to all heretics who are out of the Church, and 
to all sinners who live deprived of Thy grace. My 
Jesus, make Thyself known, make Thyself loved. I re 
commend to Thee all the souls in purgatory, and especi 
ally N. N.; alleviate the pains they suffer, and shorten 
the time of their banishment from Thy sight; do this 
through Thy merits, and those of Thy most holy Mother 
and all the saints. 

My God, enkindle the flame of Thy love within me, so 
that I may seek nothing but Thy pleasure; that nothing 
may please me but pleasing Thee. I drive from my 
heart everything which is not agreeable to Thee. May 
I always be able to say with real affection: O God, my 
God, I wish for Thee alone, and nothing more. My 
Jesus, give me a great love for Thy most sacred Passion, 
that Thy sufferings and death may be ever before my 
eyes to excite me to love Thee always, and to make me 

406 Prayers after Communion. 

desire to give Thee some grateful compensation for Thy 
so great love. Give me also a great love for the Most 
Holy Sacrament of the Altar, in which Thou hast made 
known the exceeding tenderness Thou hast for us. I 
also beg of Thee to give me a tender devotion to Thy 
most holy Mother: give me grace always to love and 
serve her, always to have recourse to her intercession, 
and to induce others to honor her and confide in her 
patronage; and grant to me and to all men ever to have 
a great confidence, first in the merits of Thy Passion, 
and then in the intercession of Mary. 

I pray Thee grant me a happy death. Grant that I 
may then receive Thee with great love in the most holy 
Viaticum, that in Thy embrace, burning with a holy 
fire, and a great desire of seeing Thee, I may quit this 
life to throw myself at Thy feet the first time it shall be 
my lot to see Thee. 

Above all, I pray Thee, O my Jesus, to give me the 
grace of prayer, that I may recommend myself always 
to Thee and Thy most holy Mother, especially in time 
of temptation; and I pray Thee, by Thy merits, to grant 
me holy perseverance and Thy holy love. 

Bless me, my Jesus, and bless me altogether my 
soul, my body, my senses, and my faculties. Bless 
especially my tongue, that it may only speak for Thy 
glory. Bless my eyes, that they may not look at any 
thing that might tempt me to displease Thee. Bless 
my taste, that it may not offend Thee by intemperance; 
and bless all the members of my body, that they may 
all serve Thee and not offend Thee. Bless my memory, 
that it may always remember Thy love and the favors 
Thou hast accorded me. Bless my understanding, that 
it may know Thy goodness, and the obligation I have 
of loving Thee; and that it may see all .that T must 
avoid, and all that I must do to conform myself to Thy 
lic^y will. Above all, bless my will, that it may love no 

Prayers after Communion. 407 

other but Thee, the infinite Good; that it may seek for 
nothing but to please Thee and may take delight in 
nothing but what conduces to Thy glory. 

O my King, come Thou and reign alone in my soul; 
take entire possession of it, that it may neither serve 
nor obey anything but Thy love. 

Oh, my Jesus, that I might spend myself all for Thee, 
who hast spent all Thy life for me! 

Lamb of God, sacrificed on the Cross, remember 
that I am one of those souls which Thou hast redeemed 
with so much labor and sorrow. Never let me lose 
Thee again. Thou hast given Thyself all to me; make 
me to be all Thine, and let my only wish be to please 
Thee. I love Thee, O immense Good, in order to give 
Thee pleasure. I love Thee, because Thou art worthy 
of my love. I have no greater grief than that of think 
ing that I have been so long in the world without loving 

My beloved Redeemer, give me a portion of that grief 
which Thou didst feel for my sins in the garden of 
Gethsemani. O my Jesus, would that I had died and 
never offended Thee! O love of my Jesus, Thou art 
my love and my hope! I will rather lose my life, and a 
thousand lives, than lose Thy grace. 

My God, if I were to die in sin, I could no more love 
Thee. I thank Thee that Thou givest me time, and 
dost call me to love Thee. Now, then, that I can love 
Thee, I will love Thee with all my soul. Thou hast 
borne with me so long, that I might love Thee. Yes, 
and I will love Thee. Ah, by the blood that Thou hast 
shed for me, suffer me not to betray Thee again. /// 
Thee, O Lord, have I hoped, let me not be. confounded for 
ever} What is the world ? what are riches ? what are 
pleasures ? what are honors ? God, God, I wish for God 

1 "In te, Dumine, speravi: mm confundar in reternum." J s. xxx. 2. 

408 Prayers after Communion. 

alone. My God, Thou art sufficient for me; Thou art 
an infinite Good. 

O my Jesus, bind me wholly to Thy love, and draw 
all my affections to Thyself, so that I may love none 
other but Thee. Make me all Thine before I die. 

Ah, my God, as long as I live I stand in danger of 
losing Thee. When shall the day come that I can say: 
My Jesus, I can no longer lose Thee ? 

O Eternal Father, for the love of Jesus Christ, despise 
me not; suffer me to love Thee, and give me Thy holy 
love. I wish to love Thee greatly in this life, that I may 
love Thee greatly in the next. 

O infinite Good, I love Thee; but do Thou make me 
know the great good that I love, and give me the love 
Thou dost desire to see in me. Enable me to overcome 
all things to please Thee, 

Prayer of St. Bonaventure to the Most Holy Sacrament. 1 

Wound, O my most tender Jesus, the inmost of my 
soul with the sweet dart of Thy love, that through Thy 
love and the desire of possessing Thee my soul may 
languish and melt within me, and so long to quit this 
life, to come and unite itself perfectly with Thee in a 
happy eternity. Make my soul always to hunger after 
Thee, the bread of angels, my Jesus, in the Blessed 
Sacrament. May it ever thirst after Thee, O fountain 
of life and light! May it ever desire Thee, seek Thee, 
speak to Thee alone, find Thee, and do all things to Thy 
praise and glory to the end! Thou, my Redeemer, art 
my only hope, my riches, my consolation, my peace, my 

1 Abridgment of the prayer that is found on page 284. 

Prayers after Communion. 409 

refuge, my wisdom, my portion, and my treasure. On 
Thee may my heart and my mind be ever fixed! Amen. 


Prayer to the Most Holy Mary, to obtain the Love of Jesus, 
and Love towards her. 

O Mary, thou dost so much desire to see this thy Son 
Jesus loved; if thou lovest me, this is the grace I ask 
of thee, and which thou must procure for me; ob 
tain for me a great love for Jesus Christ, and not to love 
any other than him. Thou obtainest from him all that 
thou dost wish; listen to me, then, pray for me and 
comfort me; bind me in such a manner to Jesus, that I 
shall no longer be able to leave off loving him. Obtain 
for me also a great love toward thee, who art of all 
creatures the most loving, the most lovely, and the most 
loved by God. I rely greatly on thy compassion, and I 
love thee, my Lady; but I love thee only a little: ask 
thy God to give me a greater love; for to love thee is a 
grace which God grants only to those whom thou dost 
wish to be saved. 



Litaniae Sanctissimi Nominis Jesu. 
Kyrie eleison. 
Christe eleison. 
Kyrie eleison. 
Jesu, audi nos. 
Jesu, exaudi nos. 

Pater de ccelis Deus, \ ^ 

Fill Redemptor mundi Deus, 
Spiritus Sancte Deus, 

Sancta Trinitas unus Deus, 

I t<> 
Jesu, Fili Dei vtvi, i 

4io Prayers after Communion. 

Jesu, splendor Patris, 

Jesu, candor lucis ceternse, 

Jesu, Rex gloriae, 

Jesu, sol justitise, 

Jesu, Fill Marise Virginis, 

Jesu, amabilis, 

Jesu, admirabilis, 

Jesu, Deus fortis, 

Jesu, Pater futuri sacculi, 

Jesu, magni consilii Angele, 

Jesu potentissime, 

Jesu patientissime, , 

Jesu obedientissime, 

Jesu mitis et humilis corde, 

Jesu, amator castitatis, 

Jesu, amator noster, 

Jesu, Deus pacis, 

Jesu, auctor vitae, 

Jesu, exemplar virtutum, 

Jesu, zelator animarum, 

Jesu, Deus noster, 

Jesu, refugium nostrum, 

Jesu, pater pauperum, 

Jesu, thesaurus ndelium, 

Jesu, bone pastor, 

Jesu, lux vera, 

Jesu, sapientia aeterna, 

Jesu, bonitas infinita, 

Jesu, via et vita nostra, 

Jesu, gaud iu m Angelorum, 

Jesu, Rex Patriarcharum, 

Jesu, Magister Apostolorum, 

Jesu, Doctor Evangelistarum, 

Jesu, fortitude Martyrum, 

Jesu, lumen Confessorum, 

Jesu, puritas Virginum, 

Jesu, corona Sanctorum omnium, 

Prayers after Communion. 41 

Propitius esto,/rt/r nobis, Jc 

Propitius esto, cxaudi nos, Jesu. 

Ab omni malo, 

Ab omni peccato, 

Ab ira tua, 

Ab insidiis diaboli, 

A spiritu fornicationis, 

A morte perpetua, 

A neglectu inspirationum tuarum, 

Per mysterium sanctae Incarnationis tuse, 

Per nativitatem tuam, 

Per infantiam tuam, 

Per divinissimam vitam tuam, 

Per labores tuos, 

Per agoniam et passionem tuam, 

Per crucem et derelictionem tuam, 

Per languores tuos, 

Per mortem et sepulturam tuam, 

Per resurrectionem tuam, 

Per ascensionem tuam, 

Per gaudia tua, 

Per gloriam tuam, 
Agnus Dei, qui tollis peccata mundi, parcc nobis, fcsu. 
Agnus Dei, qui tollis peccata mundi, cxaudi nos, Jesu. 
Agnus Dei, qui tollis peccata mundi, miserere nobis, Jesu. 
Jesu, audi nos. 
Jesu, exaudi nos. 


Domine Jesu Christe, qui dixisti: Petite, et accipietis; 
quaeritc, et invenietis; pulsate, et aperietur vobis: qure- 
sumus, da nobis petentibus divinissimi tui amoris affec- 
tum, ut te toto corde, ore, et opere diligamus, et a tua 
ntinquam laude cessemus. 

Sancti Nominis tui, Domine, timorem pariter et amo- 
rm fac nos habere perpetuum, quia nunquam tua 

412 Prayers after Communion. 

gubernatione destituis quos in soliditate tuae dilectionis 
instituis. Per Dominum. 

Litaniae Lauretanae, B. M. V. 

Kyrie eleison. 

Christe eleison. 

Kyrie eleison. 

Christe audi nos. 

Christe exaudi nos. 

Pater de coelis Deus, miserere nobis. 

Fili Redemptor mundi Deus, miserere nobis. 

Spiritus Sancte Deus, miserere nobis. 

Sancta Trinitas unus Deus, miserere nobis. 

Sancta Maria, } 

Sancta Dei Genitrix, 

Sancta Virgo virginum, 

Mater Christi, 

Mater divinae gratiae, 

Mater purissima, 

Mater castissima, 

Mater inviolata, 

Mater intemerata, 

Mater amabilis, 

Mater admirabilis, 

Mater Creatoris, 

Mater Salvatoris, 

Virgo prudentissima, 

Virgo veneranda, 

Virgo praedicanda, 

Virgo potens, 

Virgo clemens, 

Virgo fidelis, 

Speculum justitiae, 

Sedes sapientiae, 

Prayers after Communion. 4 1 

Causa nostrae laetitiae, 

Vas spirituale, 

Vas honorabile, 

Vas insigne devotionis, 

Rosa mystica, 

Turris Davidica, 

Turris eburnea, 

Domus aurea, 

Foederis area, 

Janua coeli, 

Stella matutina, 

Salus infirmorum, 

Refugium peccatorum, 

Consolatrix afflictorum, 

Auxilium Christianorum, 

Regina Angelorum, 

Regina Patriarch a rum, 

Regina Prophetarum, 

Regina Apostolorum, 

Regina Marty rum, 

Regina Confessorum, 

Regina Virgin urn, 

Regina Sanctorum omnium, 

Regina sine labe original! concepta, 

Regina sacratissimi Rosarii, 
Agnus Dei, qui tollis peccata mundi. R. Parce nobis, 

Agnus Dei, qui tollis peccata mundi. R. Exaudi nos, 

Agnus Dei, qui tollis peccata mundi. R. Miserere nobis. 

Sub tuum presidium confugimus, sancta Dei Geni- 
trix:* nostras deprecationes ne despicias in necessitati- 
bus nostris,* sed a periculis cunctis libera nos semper, 
Virgo" gloriosa et benedicta. 

V. Ora pro nobis, sancta Dei Genitrix. 

R. Ut digni efficiamur promissionibus Christi. 

414 Prayers after Communion. 


Concede nos, famulos tuos, quaesumus Domine Deus, 
perpetua mentis et corporis sanitate gaudere, et gloriosa 
beatae Mariae semper Virginis intercessione, a praesenti 
liberari tristitia et aeterna perfrui laetitia. Per Christum 
Dominum nostrum. 

R, Amen. 

anb tljc (Mice tijat are 








The present little work appeared in 1760 (Villecourt, 
1. 6, p. i, ch. 5 et 6). It has for its Italian title the 
words: La Mcssa e VOfficio strappazzati. The participle 
strappazzati expresses the idea of contempt, negligence, 
and especially precipitation. This treatise is a pressing 
exhortation to priests to celebrate Mass well, and to 
recite well the divine Office. We have put it at the end 
of the volume, because the first part of it is, as it were, 
the peroration or natural conclusion, and the second part 
may serve as a preface or transition to the following 
volume, which treats of the divine Office. ED. 

ijoln Sacrifice of tfyc IHass Jjttrricbln oaib. 

Importance of the Holy Sacrifice. 

UNLESS a priest esteems the holy Sacrifice as it de 
serves, he can never celebrate it with suitable devotion. 

Assuredly there is no action which man can perform 
so sublime, so sacred, as the celebration of Mass. " We 
must needs confess," says the Council of Trent, "that 
no other work can be performed by the faithful so holy 
and divine as this tremendous mystery itself." God 
himself could not enable man to perform anything 
greater than the celebration of Mass. 

All the ancient sacrifices, by which God was so much 
honored, were but shadows and figures of our sacrifice 
of the altar. All the honor that angels by their adora 
tions, and men by their good works, austerities, and 
even martyrdoms, have ever rendered or will ever 
render to God, never could, and never will, give him 
so much glory as one single Mass; for, while the honor 
of all creatures is only finite, that which accrues to God 
from the holy Sacrifice of the altar is infinite, inasmuch 
as the victim which is offered is of infinite value. The 
Mass, therefore, offers to God the greatest honor that 
can be given him, subdues most triumphantly the 
powers of hell, affords the greatest relief to the suf 
fering souls in purgatory^ appeases most efficaciously 
the wrath of God against sinners, and brings down the 
greatest blessings on mankind. 

" Necessario fatemur, nullum aliud opus adeo sanctum ac divinum 
a Christi fidelibus tractari posse, quani hoc tremendum mysterium."- 
St-ss. xxii. Deer. <L> <>/>s. in <-,/. J/. 


4 1 8 The Mass hurriedly said. 


If, as it is promised, we may confidently hope to ob 
tain from God whatever we ask in the name of Jesus: 
If you ask the Father anything in My name, He will give it 
to you? how much more confidently may we hope to ob 
tain what we ask for, when we immolate to the Father 
Jesus himself? Our loving Redeemer is continually 
making intercession for us in heaven: Who also maketh 
intercession for us? But this he does more especially in 
the sacrifice of the Mass, in which, by the hands of the 
priest, he presents himself to his eternal Father, to ob 
tain graces for us. Were we assured that all the saints 
and the blessed Mother of Christ were praying for us, 
with what great confidence should we expect to receive 
all graces necessary for us? But it is certain that one 
prayer of Jesus Christ will avail infinitely more than all 
the prayers of the saints. Poor, wretched sinners, what 
would become of us without this sacrifice to appease the 
Lord ! " For the Lord, appeased by the oblation there 
of, and granting the grace and gift of penitence, for 
gives even heinous crimes and sins," 3 says the Council 
of Trent. In a word, as the Passion of Jesus Christ was 
sufficient to save the whole world, so is a single Mass 
sufficient to save it. Hence, at the offertory of the 
chalice the priest says: "We offer unto Thee, O Lord, 
the chalice of salvation, . . . for oar salvation, and for 
that of the whole world." 4 

The Mass is the good thing and the beautiful thing of 
the Church, according to the prediction of the prophet: 
For what is the good thing of Him, and what is His beauti- 

1 "Si quid petieritis Patrem in nomine meo, dabit vobis." John, 
xvi. 23. 

2 " Qui etiam interpellat pro nobis." Rom. viii. 34. 

" Hujus quippe oblatione placatus Dominus, gratiam et donum 
poenitentiaj concedens, crimina et peccata etiam ingentia dirnittit." 
Sess. xxii. De Sacrif. M. c. ii. 

4 " Offerimus tibi, Domine, calicem salutaris, . . . pro nostra et 
totius mundi salute." 

Importance of tJic Holy Sacrifice. 419 

//// thing, but the corn of the elect, and wine springing forth 
virgins? 1 In the Mass, the Word incarnate offers him 
self in sacrifice to his eternal Father, and gives himself 
to us in the Blessed Sacrament of the Eucharist, which 
is the end and aim of almost all the other sacraments, as 
the angelic Doctor teaches. 2 Hence St. Bonaventure 
says, that in the Mass God manifests to us all the love 
that he has borne us, and includes in it, as in a compen 
dium, all his benefits. 3 On this account the devil has 
always endeavored to abolish the Mass throughout the 
world by means of heretics, making them the precursors 
of Antichrist, who before all things will endeavor to 
abolish, and in fact will, in punishment of the sins of 
men, succeed in abolishing the holy sacrifice of the altar, 
according to the prediction of Daniel: And strength was 
given him against the continual sacrifice because of sins* 

The same St. Bonaventure says, that the Son of God 
in every Mass confers a benefit on the world not less 
than that which he conferred in taking upon himself 
our human nature. & So that, as the learned teach, if 
Jesus Christ had never appeared in the world, a priest, 
by pronouncing the words of consecration, would bring 
him down from heaven upon the earth, according to 
that celebrated sentence of St. Augustine: "O venerable 

1 "Quid enim bonum ejus est, et quid pulchrum est, nisi frumentum 
electorum, et vinum germinans virgines?" Ziich. ix. 17. 

2 " Fere omnia Sacramenta in Eucharistia consummantur." P. 3, q. 
65, a. 3. 

3 " Et ideo hoc est memoriale totius dilectionis suae, et quasi compen 
dium quoddam omnium beneficiorum suorum." Dt: In. tit. Novit. p. i, 
c. n. 

4 " Robur autem datum ei contra juge Sacrificium propter peccata." 
Dan. viii. 12. 

5 " Non minus videtur facere Deus in hoc quod quotidie dignatur 
descendere de ccelo super altare, quam cum naturam humani generis 
assumpsit." Loc. at. 

420 The Mass hurriedly said. 

dignity of the priests in whose hands as in the womb of 
the Virgin the Son of God became incarnate !" 

Moreover, as the sacrifice of the altar is the applica 
tion and renewal of the sacrifice of the cross, the angelic 
Doctor teaches, that the Mass procures for man the same 
benefits and salvation that the sacrifice of the cross pro 
cured for him. 2 

St. John Chrysostom says the same: "The celebration 
of Mass is of as much value as the death of Christ on 
the cross." 3 And of this the Church still further as 
sures us, saying: "As many times as this commemorative 
sacrifice is celebrated, so often is the work of our redemp 
tion performed." As the same Saviour, who offered 
himself for us on the cross, offers himself in sacrifice on 
the altar by the hands of the priest, as the Council of 
Trent teaches: "For the victim is one and the same, the 
same now offering by the ministry of priests, who then 
offered Himself on the cross, the manner alone of offer 
ing being different;" so the sacrifice of the cross is 
applied to our souls by the sacrifice of the altar. The 
Passion of Jesus Christ rendered us capable of redemp 
tion; the Mass puts us in possession of it, and enables 
us to enjoy its merits. 

"O veneranda Sacerdotum dignitas, in quorum manibus, velut in 
utero Virginis, Filius Dei incarnatur !" Molina, Instr. Sac. tr. i, c 5 


2 " In qualibet Missa invenitur omnis fructus quern Christus operatus 
est in cruce." /. Herolt. de Sanct. s. 48. 

" Quidquid est effectus Dominica? passionis, est effectus hujus Sacra- 
menti." In Jo. 6, lect. 6. 

3 " Tantum valet celebratio Missre, quantum mors Christi in cruce." 
/. Herolt, loco cit. 

" Quoties hujus Hostire commemoratio celebratur, opus nostrre re- 
demptionis exercetur." Miss. Doni. y/. Pent. 

" Una enim eademque est Hostia, idem mine offerens Sacerdotum 
ministerio, qui seipsum tune in Cruce obtulit, sola offerendi rationc di- 
vcrsa." Sess. 22, cap. 2. 

Three Tilings Necessary to Celebrate Well. 421 


Three Things Necessary to Celebrate Well. 

The Mass, then, being the most holy and divine action 
in which we can be engaged, it plainly follows, says the 
Council of Trent, that all diligence ought to be used in 
order that so great a sacrifice may be celebrated with 
the greatest possible interior purity and exterior devo 
tion. 1 And it says that the malediction fulminated by 
Jeremias against those who performed negligently their 
sacred functions is especially to be directed against 
priests who irreverently say Mass, which sacrifice is the 
greatest and most sublime action that man can perform 
for the honor of his Creator; adding, that such irrever 
ence cannot well be less than impiety. The words of the 
Council are: Qi/ic ab impietate vix sejuncta csse potest. 

In order, therefore, that the priest of God may avoid 
such irreverence, and with it the malediction of heaven, 
let us see what he must do before he celebrates Mass, 
what during the celebration, and what after lie has 
celebrated. Before he celebrates he must prepare him 
self. During the celebration he must behave with suit 
able reverence. After having celebrated he must make 
a thanksgiving. 


It has been said by a servant of God, that the whole 
life of a priest ought to be a prepaiation and thanksgiv 
ing for Mass. It is true that the most holy Eucharist 
was instituted for the benefit of all the faithful, but it 
was especially bestowed upon priests. Give not, says 
our Lord, speaking to priests, that which is holy to dogs, 

" Satis apparet omncm operam ct diligentiam in eo ponendam esse, 
ut, quanta maxima fieri potest interiori cord is munditia atque exteriori 
devotionis ac pietatis specie, peragatur." S,-ss. 22, Deer, de nl>s. in 
eel. M. 

422 The Mass hurriedly said. 

neither cast ye your pearls before swine. 1 Mark the words 
your pearls. In Greek the consecrated particles are 
called pearls; now these aie here spoken of by our 
Blessed Saviour as belonging particularly to priests, 
margaritas VESTRAS. Hence, according to St. John Chry- 
sostom, a priest leaving the altar ought to be so inflamed 
with divine love as to be the terror of hell. 2 But do we 
see this exemplified ? On the contrary, the greater num 
ber of priests leave the altar even more tepid, more im 
patient, proud, jealous, and more attached to their own 
interests, to self-esteem, and to worldly pleasures. " The 
defect is not in the food, but in the disposition of the one 
that eats it," 3 says Cardinal Bona. The fault is not in 
the food of which they partake at such a table, since 
such food, only once eaten, according to St. Mary Mag 
dalene of Pazzi, is sufficient to make them saints; but 
in the neglect of preparation on the part of those who 
celebrate the holy Sacrifice. 

Preparation for Mass is twofold remote and imme 

The remote consists in a pure and virtuous life, which 
a priest ought always to lead in order to celebrate 
worthily. If God required purity of the priests of the 
Old Law, to qualify them for the carrying only of the 
sacred vessels: Be you clean that carry the vessels of the 
Lord* how much greater purity must he require of a 
priest for bearing in his hands and in his breast the 
Word incarnate? says Peter of Blois. 5 In order to be 

" Nolite dare sanctum canibus, neque mittatis margaritas vestras 
ante porcos." Matt. vii. 6. 

" Tamquam leones ignem spirantes ab ilia mensa recedamus facti 
diabolo terribiles." Ad pop. Ant. horn. 61. 

" Defectus non in cibo est, sed in edentis dispositione." DC Sacr. 
M. c. 6, 6, 

" Mundamini, qui fertis vasa Domini." 7s. lii. n. 

" Quanto mundiores esse oportet, qui in rnanibus et in corpora por- 
tant Christum !" Epist. 123. 

Three Things Necessary to Celebrate /7V//. 423 

thus pure and holy, a priest should not only be free 
from mortal sins, but also from deliberate venial sins: 
otherwise, says St. Bernard, Jesus Christ will not allow 
him to have part with him. 1 All the actions, therefore, 
of a priest, all his words, all his thoughts, ought to be 
so holy as to dispose him remotely for the worthy cele 
bration of Mass. 

The immediate preparation consists first in mental 
prayer. How can a priest celebrate Mass devoutly who 
does not prepare himself beforehand by meditation ? 
Father Avila says that a priest ought to make an hour 
and a half s meditation before celebrating the holy 
Sacrifice. I should be satisfied with half an hour, and, 
for the more tepid, with even a quarter of an hour; but 
I cannot help saying that a quarter of an hour is too 
little. O God, how many beautiful books are there of 
meditation by way of preparation for Mass ! but how 
few make use of them ! Hence is Mass so frequently 
celebrated with such grievous negligence and want of 
devotion. St. Thomas says 2 that our Blessed Redeemer 
instituted the most holy sacrament of the altar in order 
to keep alive within us the remembrance of his love 
shown to us in his Passion, and of the great benefits 
obtained for us by the sacrifice of himself on the altar 
of the cross; and hence the Apostle admonishes us that, 
as often as we receive the holy Communion, we should 
do so in remembrance of the death of our Lord. 3 Now, 
if all the faithful are required to commemorate the 
Passion of Jesus Christ as often as they communicate, 
how much more is a priest required to do this, when he 
celebrates Mass; in which he not only receives the most 

" Hfec nemo contemnat, quoniam, ut audivit Petrus, nisi laverit ca 
Christus, non habebimus partem cum eo." S. in Co-no, Dotn. 
2 Offic. Corp. Chr. 

" Quotiescumque enim manducabitis Panem mine, et Calioem 
bibetis, mortem Domini annuntiabitis." i Cor. xii. 26. 

4 2 4 The Mass hurriedly said. 

sacred body and blood of Christ, but also represents 
and renews upon the altar, although in a different 
manner, the sacrifice itself of the cross ! 

Besides making his meditation, a priest should also, 
before he celebrates, recollect himself, at least for a 
short time, and reflect on the greatness of the action 
which he is about to perform. Thus it was ordained by 
the Council of Milan, in the time of St. Charles: " Before 
celebrating Mass, priests should become recollected, and 
praying should fix their thoughts upon the great mys 
tery." When a priest enters the sacristy to -say Mass, 
let him leave behind him all worldly thoughts, saying 
to them with St. Bernard: Wait here all earthly cares 
and solicitude until after I have celebrated Mass, which 
will require all my attention. St. Francis de Sales 
writes in one of his letters to St. Jane Frances de 
Chantal: "When I approach the altar to begin Mass, I 
banish all temporal affairs from my mind." Let a priest, 
therefore, consider that he is going to call down from 
heaven the Word incarnate, to treat familiarly with 
him, to offer him again in sacrifice to his eternal Father, 
and to nourish himself with his divine body and blood; 
after the example of the Venerable John of Avila, who 
was accustomed to excite himself to devotion by saying: 
" I am going to consecrate, to call down the body and 
blood of the Son of God; I am going to take him into 
my hands, to speak to him, and to treat with him, and 
to receive him into my breast." 

Let the priest also reflect that he is going to the altar 
to make intercession for all sinners. " The priest while 
celebrating," says St. Laurence Justinian, "performs 
the office of mediator; wherefore he should be an inter 
cessor for all those that commit sin." 2 So that a priest 

" Antequam celebrent, se colligant, et orantes mentem in tanti 
ministerii cogitatione defigant." Const, p. 2, n. 5. 

" Mediatoris gerit offidum; proptcrea delinquentium omnium debet 
esse precator." J> . t / t - Eucliar. 

Three Things Necessary to Celebrate Well. 425 

at the altar, according to St. John Chrysostom, stands 
between God and his creatures, offers up their prayers, 
and obtains for them the graces of heaven. 1 In the Old 
Law the high-priest was permitted only once in the 
year to enter into the " Holy of Holies" to pray for the 
people; but now every priest is permitted to offer the 
Lamb without spot to the eternal Father every day, to 
obtain for himself and for the whole Church all neces 
sary graces and favors. Hence the Council of Basel 
observes that if a subject when he is to ask a prince 
for some favor does not fail to present himself in the 
best possible manner, in decent attire, with an humble 
countenance, modest language, suitable attention, how 
much more should the priest act in this way when he 
presents himself before the divine Majesty to pray for 
himself and for others ! a 


In the second place, a priest celebrating Mass ought 
to behave with all the reverence due to so great a sac 
rifice. To induce him to do this is the intent, or at least 
the principal point, of this treatise. Let us then see 
what is meant by reverence. It means, first, a proper 
attention to the words of the Mass; and secondly, an 
exact observance of the ceremonies prescribed by the 

As regards attention to the words, a priest sins by 
being voluntarily distracted during Mass; and as divines 
say, if it be during the consecration and elevation, or 
during a notable part of the canon, he sins mortally; 

" Medius stat saccrdos inter Deum ct naturam humanam, illinc 
venientia beneficia ad nos deferens." In Isaiam horn. 5. 

" Si quis, principem saeculi rogaturus, habitu honesto, gestu decenti, 
prolatione, non prrecipiti, distincta, attenta quoque mente, seipsum 
studet componere, quanto diligentius, in sacro loco omnipotentetn 
rogaturus Deum, hsec facere curabit ! " Scss. 21, can. 3. 

426 The Mass hurriedly said. 

such is the opinion of Roncaglia, 1 of Concilia, 2 and of 
Tamburini, of whom the latter, although lenient, even 
too lenient, in his opinions, yet speaking on this point 
says: " If a priest while voluntarily distracted during a 
considerable time, recites those parts of Mass that con 
tain the Canon, he will sin mortally. On the other 
hand, it seems to me to be a grave irreverence if any 
one, while professing that God should be venerated in 
the highest degree, should behave irreverently towards 
him by voluntary distraction." 1 And I am of the same 
opinion, whatever certain authors may say to the con 
trary: because, waiving the question whether the in 
terior intention is or is not the essence of prayer, I main 
tain that the holy Sacrifice is not only an act of prayer, 
but also a most sublime act of religious worship, in which 
a priest appears to commit great irreverence if, while 
he actually professes religiously to honor God, he is 
voluntarily distracted with thoughts of other subjects. 
Hence this admonition of the Rubric: "The priest 
should take the greatest care to utter distinctly and 
fitly the words that are to be said in a loud voice, and 
not too fast, so that he may advert to what he reads. " 

As regards the performing of the ceremonies pre 
scribed by the Rubric for the celebration of Mass, St. 
Pius V. in the Bull inserted in the Missal commands, 
districte, ct in virtute sanctai obedientice, Mass to be cele 
brated according to the rubrics of the Missal: Juxta 

1 Tr. :S, q. 2, c. 3, q. 2, resp. 3. 

2 DC Sacr. 1. 3, d. 2, c. 10, n. 13. 

3 " Si Sacerdos per notabile tempus voluntarie distractus, eas Missae 
partes quse Canonem continent, recitet, peccabit mortaliter. Videtur 
autem mihi gravis esse irreverentia, quod quis, dum profitetur Deum 
summe venerari, cum illo irreverenter, per voluntariam distractionem, 
se gerat." DC Sacrif. M. 1. 2, c. 3, n. 9. 

4 " Sacerdos maxime curare debet, ut ea quae clara voce dicenda 
sunt, distincte et apposite proferat, non admodum festinanter, ut 
advertere possit quae legit." Ruhr. gen. tit. 16, n. 2. 

Three Things Necessary to Celebrate Well. 427 

^ are the words, modum, et nor main in Missali prce- 
scriptam. Hence Suarez very properly says that the 
omission of any ceremony prescribed in the rubrics, such 
as a sign of the cross, genuflection, inclination, etc., 
cannot be excused from venial sin. And this is declared 
by Benedict XIII. in the Roman Council, which says, 
that in the celebration of Mass, Ritas in minimi s etiam, 
sine peccato negligi, vcl rnutari hand possunt. St. Teresa 
said: " I would lay down my life for only one of the 
ceremonies of the Church;" and shall a priest slight 
them ? 

La Croix* says the same with Pasqualigo, if the said 
ceremonies are performed in too hurried a manner, or 
carelessly, as says Father Concina 3 also very properly, 
speaking of those who in saying Mass do not touch the 
ground with one knee when they genuflect, or who, 
when they should kiss the altar, only make an appear 
ance of kissing it, or who do not properly form the 
crosses at the benedictions as prescribed in the rubrics; 
because, as Gavantus 4 says with Ledesma, it is the same 
thing as to omit the ceremonies prescribed, to perform 
them improperly; according to the axiom of jurists: 
Paria sunt non facer e, et facer e male. 

Moreover, the learned in general, Wigandt, 5 Ron- 
caglia," Concina, 7 and La Croix 8 in the places already 
cited, say, that if any one omits a notable part of the 
ceremonies of the Mass, although not of the most impor 
tant, he cannot be excused from grievous sin. Such 
omissions, when repeated in the same Mass, amount to 
something grievous; and therefore are grievously irrev 
erent to the Holy Sacrifice. 

We know that even in the Old Law the Lord threat- 

1 Life, ch. 33. * Lib. 6, p. 2, n. 422. 

3 De Sacr. 1. 3, d. 2, c. 10, n. I. 

4 Ruhr. Miss. p. 3, tit. n, n. 9. 5 Tr. 15, n. 75, resp. 4. 
( Tr. 1 8, q. 2, c. 3, q. 4, r. 3. " Loco cit. 8 Loco cit. 

428 The Mass hurriedly said. 

ened with many maledictions those priests that were 
careless of the ceremonies of their sacrifices, which 
were but figures of ours: But if thou unit not hear the 
voice of the Lord thy God to keep and to do all His . . . cere 
monies . . . all these curses shall come upon thee. . . . Cursed 
shalt thou be in the city, cursed in the field; . . . cursed shalt 
thou be coming in, and cursed going out. . . .* 

Hence, seeing the greater part of priests say Mass 
with so much hurry and carelessness in the performance, 
of the ceremonies, one ought to weep even with tears of 
blood. Well might be applied to such the reproach of 
Clement of Alexandria to the Gentile priests, that they 
made heaven a theatrical scene, and God the subject of 
a comedy: O impictateni ! Scenam ccelum fccistis, et Dens 
factus est actus? But why should I say a comedy? Oh, 
what attention would not such pay if they had to recite 
a part in a comedy ! And in saying Mass what atten 
tion do they pay ? Words mutilated, genuflections half 
made, acts of mockery rather than of reverence: crosses 
so formed that it would be impossible to know what 
they meant: such movements about the altar, and turn 
ings, as even to excite ridicule and laughter: handling 
the consecrated Host and the consecrated chalice as 
though they were a piece of bread and a glass of wine: 
confounding the words and ceremonies together, placing 
the one before or after the other, contrary to the order 
prescribed by the rubrics; the whole Mass, in a word, 
from beginning to end, nothing but a tissue of careless 
ness, confusion, and irreverence. 

And whence comes all this ? It arises partly from 
ignorance of the rubrics, which they neither know nor 

1 "Quod si audire nolueris vocem Domini Dei tui, ut custodias et 
facias . . . caeremonias, . . . venient super te omnes maledictiones 
istae. . . . Maledictus eris in civitate, maledictus in agro. . . . Male- 
dictus eris ingrediens, et maledictus egrediens. . . ." Dent, xxviii. 15. 

2 Or. ad Gent. 

Three Things Necessary to celebrate well. 429 

endeavor to know; and partly from anxiety to finish 
Mass in as short a time as possible. They seem to be 
saying Mass as though the Church were going to fall, or 
the Turks were coming, and they should not have time 
to escape. Such priests, before saying Mass, will some 
times be eng^lged for hours in worldly affairs, or in use 
less conversation in a shop, or in th.e sacristy, and then 
hasten to begin Mass, and attend to nothing but to get 
through it as quickly as possible. There should be 
always some one at hand to s-ay to such, as Father 
Avila, approaching the altar, once said to a priest who 
was celebrating in this manner: " Please to treat him 
better; for he is the son of a respectable Father." 1 
God admonished the priests of the old law to tremble 
with awe when they approached the Sanctuary. 2 And 
shall the priests of the New Law celebrating at the 
altar, in the presence of Jesus Christ really there, taking 
him into their hands, offering him in sacrifice, and even 
feeding upon him, dare to behave with irreverence ? 

A priest at the altar, as St. Cyprian says, and most 
truly, represents the person of Jesus Christ himself. 3 
And in the person of Jesus Christ he says: Hoc est corpus 
meum. Hie cst calix sanguinis mei. But, O God ! seeing 
the irreverent manner in which so many priests now 
celebrate Mass, who could say whether they were the 
representatives of Jesus Christ, or mountebanks earning 
their livelihood by tricks of sleight-of-hand ? as it is 
written in the synod of Spalatro: " Many who celebrate 
endeavor not to celebrate Mass, but to finish it; not 
that they may perform an act of devotion, but that they 
may have a means of making a living; so that the cele 
bration of Mass is performed not as a mystery of religion, 

" Age dcccntcr cum hoc puero, nam optimos habet parentes." 

2 " Pavete ad sanctuarium meum." Lcvit. xxvi. 2. 

3 " Saceruos vice Christ! vcrc fungitur." Epist. ad Ca\il. 

430 The Mass hurriedly said. 

but as an act of making profit." And what is still 
more to be wondered at, or rather, to be lamented, is to 
see even Religious, and some even of reformed Orders, 
say Mass with so much haste, and with such mutilated 
ceremonies as would scandalize even idolaters, and 
scandalize them more than if such Religious had been 
the most lax secular priests. 

Hence let priests who celebrate in this unworthy 
manner remember that they not only sin by the irrev 
erence which they commit against the holy Sacrifice, but 
also by the great scandal which they give to those who 
are present at it. In proportion as a devout Mass excites 
great devotion and reverence towards the sacred mys 
teries, so does an indevout Mass destroy all devotion 
and reverence due to so great a sacrifice. In the life of 
St. Peter of Alcantara it is related that the Mass which 
he said devoutly produced more fruit than all the ser 
mons of the preachers of the province in which he then 
was. The Council of Trent says that the ceremonies of 
the Mass have been ordained by the Church for no other 
purpose than to instil into the faithful the reverence 
which is due to the sacrifice of the altar, and to the 
sublime mysteries which it embraces. " The Church," 
says the Council, " has likewise employed ceremonies 
whereby both the majesty of so great a sacrifice might 
be recommended, and the minds of the faithful be ex 
cited by those visible signs of religion and piety, to the 
contemplation of those most sublime things which are 
hidden in this sacrifice." 2 But the ceremonies, when 

1 " Plerique celebrantes conantur, non ut Missam celebrent, sed ut 
absolvant; non ut devotionis exercitium, sed ut victus sustentationem- 
habeant; ita ut Missre celebratio, non tamquam religionis mysteria, sed 
ut lucrandi ars qusedam exerceatur." 

2 " Ecclesia caeremonias adhibuit, quo et majestas tanti Sacrificii 
commendaretur, et mentes ndelium, per haec visibilia religionis et 
pietatis signa, ad rerum altissimarum, quse in hoc Sacrificio /atent, 
contemplationem excitarentur." Scss. 22, dc Sacrif. M. c. 5. 

Three Things Necessary to celebrate well. 431 

irreverently and hastily performed, not only do not 
excite, but destroy the veneration of the faithful for so 
sacred a mystery. Peter of Blois says, that the saying 
of Mass with but little reverence induces the people to 
make little account of the most holy Sacrament. 1 And 
hence the Council of Turin, in the year 1583, ordained 
that priests should be well instructed in the ceremonies 
of the Mass. For what end ? " Lest they withdraw 
from devotion the people intrusted to their care, rather 
than attract them to the veneration of the sacred mys 
teries." 2 

How can priests by saying Mass indevoutly expect to 
obtain pardon for their sins and favors from God, if 
while they are offering it up to him they are offending 
him, and insult him rather than honor him? " Since 
every crime," says Pope Julius, " is wiped out by sacri 
fices what shall be given to the Lord for the expiation 
of guilt, when in the very offering of the sacrifice sins 
are committed?" 2 A priest, by not believing in the 
sacrament of the Eucharist, would offend God; but he 
who does believe in it, would offend him more by not 
treating it with becoming respect; because he would, by 
so doing, destroy it in others who saw him celebrate 
with so little reverence. The Jews respected Jesus Christ 
at the beginning of his mission; but when they saw him 
despised by the priests, they lost all reverence for him, 
and at last unanimously, with the priests, cried out: 
Tolle y tolle, crucifge cum. And thus the laity, when they 

1 "Ex inordinata et indisciplinata multitudine Sacerdotum, hodie 
datur ostentui nostrae redemptionis venerabile Sacramentum. Epist. 

J " Ne populum sibi commissum a devotione potius revocent, quam 
ad sacrorum mysteriorum venerationem invitent." 

3 " Cum omne crimen sacrificiis deleatur, quid pro delictorum 
expiatione Domino dabitur, quando in ipsa sacrificii oblatione erratur ?" 
Cap. Cum omne, de Consccr. dist. 2. 

432 The Mass hurriedly said. 

see priests celebrate Mass with disrespect and negli 
gence, lose all esteem and veneration for it. 

As it is said above, when Mass is said with devotion, 
it excites devotion; while, on the contrary, when it is 
disrespectfully celebrated, it extinguishes all devotion 
in those who attend it, and almost their faith also. A 
certain religious of great credit related to me a terrible 
example on this point, and we find it also recorded by 
Seraphin Maria Loddi, a Dominican, in his "Reasons 
for celebrating Mass without hurry," etc. There was a 
certain heretic in Rome who had resolved to abjure his 
errors, and had promised the Pope Clement XL to do so, 
but having seen Mass celebrated in a certain church in 
an indevout manner, was so scandalized, that he went to 
the Pope, and told his Holiness that he should not now 
abjure his errors, for that he was convinced that neither 
priests nor the Pope himself believed in the truth of the 
Catholic Church. But the Pope told him that the inde- 
votion of one priest, or of many negligent priests, could 
not prejudice the truth of the faith taught by the Church. 
" Nevertheless," replied the heretic, " if I were Pope, and 
knew of a priest saying Mass so irreverently, I would 
have him burnt alive: and seeing as I do that there are 
priests who celebrate in this manner with impunity, 
even in Rome, and in the face of the Pope, I am satisfied 
that the Pope himself does not believe." And so saying 
he departed, and obstinately refused to renounce his 
errors. I may add that a certain layman (this very 
morning, while I am writing this little work), as one of 
the brethren of our Congregation tells me, hearing a 
Mass of this kind, said to him: " Verily such priests and 
such Masses make one lose one s faith." 

Hear how the pious Cardinal Bellarmine 1 laments 
over the grievous scandals arising from the abuses com 
mitted by priests in the celebration of Mass, as referred 

1 J)i- Ct ftiilu, col, I. 2, c. 5. 

Three Things Necessary to celebrate well. 433 

to by Benedict XIV. " Another thing is also worthy of 
most copious tears, namely, that owing to the careless 
ness or impiety of some priests, the sacred mysteries are 
so unworthily treated that those who treat them seem 
not to believe that the majesty of the Lord is present. 
For thus some perform this duty without spirit, without 
affection, with incredible haste, as if they did not see 
Christ by faith, or did not believe that they are seen by 
him." Woe to such ! A certain priest dying imme 
diately after having said only his first Mass, Father 
Avila exclaimed, " Oh, what an account will he have to 
give before God only for this, his first Mass !" And 
what think you would Father Avila say of priests, who, 
perhaps for thirty or forty years, have offered up the 
holy Sacrifice in the scandalous manner that we have 
seen above ? 

The following terrible example on this subject is nar 
rated in the annals of the Capuchin Fathers. 2 There was 
a certain Rector of a church, who celebrated Mass with 
much hurry and irreverence. One day, Father Matthew 
da Basso, the first General of the Capuchins, as soon as 
this priest returned into the sacristy, after saying Mass, 
hastened to him, and represented to him how his Mass 
could not edify, but must bring destruction upon the 
Church; and on this account besought him either to 
celebrate Mass with more suitable gravity, or to abstain 
from saying it at all, in order to avoid giving more scandal 
to the people. The Rector was so indignant at receiving 
this reproof, that having soon cast off his sacred vest- 

1 " Aliud est etiam lacrymis uberrimis dignum, quod, obnonnullorum 
Sacerdotum incuriam aut improbitatem, sacrosancta mj-stcria tarn 
indecore tractentur, ut, qui ilia tfactant, videantur non credere ma- 
jestatem Domini esse prresentem. Sic enim aliqui, sine spiritu, sine 
affectu, sine timore, festinatione incredibili Sacrum perficiunt, quasi 
fide Christum non viderent aut ab eo se videri non crederent." Bulla 
An nits qui, 15. 

a A da nil. 1552, n. 49. 

434 The Mass hurriedly said. 

ments, he ran after the religious in order to be revenged 
upon him; but not finding him, retired into his own 
house, where it so happened that in a few minutes the 
miserable man was attacked by persons who were his 
enemies, and was so grievously wounded by them that 
within the space of an hour he unhappily died; on which 
there arose such a terrific tempest as to tear up oaks by 
the roots, and carry herds of cattle into the air. An 
obsessed person of the neighborhood being exorcised, 
declared that all the demons of that country had been 
engaged together in preventing this priest from being 
converted before he died; and that having succeeded, 
in testimony of their triumph they raised this tempest 
in the air. 

I know not with what conscience parish priests and 
sacristans can admit priests who say Mass in an irrever 
ent manner to celebrate in their churches. Pasqualigo 
says that he knows not how to excuse from grievous 
sin those who admit such. " Prelates," he says, " even 
Regulars and Rectors of churches, sin mortally if they 
permit their subjects to celebrate with too great haste; 
because by reason of their office they are obliged to 
take care that the celebration takes place in a suitable 
manner." And there is no doubt but that bishops are 
strictly bound to prohibit, without exception, all such 
priests from celebrating the sacred mysteries, as ordained 
by the Council of Trent: " The holy Synod decrees that 
the ordinary bishops of places shall take diligent care 
and be bound to prohibit and abolish all those things 
which . . . irreverence, which can hardly be separated 
from impiety, . . . may have introduced." 1 Mark the 

1 "Colligitur Praelatos, etiam regulares, et Rectores ecclesiarum, 
peccare mortaliter, si permittunt subditos celebrare cum nimia festina- 
tione; quia, ratione muneris, tenentur curare ut celebratio congruo 
modo se habeat." DC Sacrif. Nova Leg. q. 229, n. 7. 

2 " Decernit sancta synodus ut Ordinarii locorum ea omnia prohibere 

Three Things Necessary to celebrate lucll. 435 

words, prohibcre curent ac tencantiir, shall prohibit and are 
bound to do so; from which it is evident that prelates are 
obliged to watch and diligently inform themselves how 
Mass is celebrated throughout their dioceses, and to sus 
pend from celebrating those priests who say it without 
due reverence. And this holds good even with respect 
to Regulars, inasmuch as bishops in their regard are 
declared by the Council to be apostolic Delegates: 
" Even as delegates of the Apostolic See, they may 
prohibit, ordain, reform, and establish, . . . and may 
compel ... by ecclesiastical censures and other penal 
ties inviolably to observe them." 1 

We come now to inquire how much time is requisite 
for the saying of Mass in a proper manner. Father 
Molina a says that an hour ought not to be considered 
too long. Nevertheless Cardinal Lambertini, 3 agreeably 
to the general opinion of other authors, maintains that 
Mass ought not to exceed half an hour, nor to be less 
than twenty minutes; because, as he says, it cannot be 
celebrated with suitable reverence in less than twenty 
minutes; and if prolonged beyond half an hour it be 
comes tedious to those that are present. 4 The same is 
found in the General Chapter of Clerics Regular: "No 
one should prolong Mass more than half an hour, nor 
say it in less than twenty minutes." :> We find the same 
again in the Constitutions of the discalced Carmelites. 
" The private Mass should last about half an hour, but not 

sedulo curent ac teneantur, quae irreverentia (quae ab impietate vix 
sejuncta esse potest) induxit." Ssss. 22, Deer, de abs. in M. 

1 " Ipsi, ut delegati Sedis Apostolicae, prohibeant, mandent, cor- 
rigant, atque, ad ea servanda, censuris aliisque poems compellant." 
Loco cit. 

* Instr. Sac. tr. 3, c. 14, 2. 3 Henedict XIV. Inst. 34, n. 30. 

4 " Nemo Missam longius horre semisse protrahat, neque triente con- 

5 " Missa privata per dimidiam circiter horam, sed non ultra, exten- 

436 The Mass hurriedly said. 

longer." The same again in the Rules of the Society of 
Jesus: "The saying of Mass should not much exceed 
half an hour, nor should it be so short as not fill up 
half an hour." ] 

Father Gobato, speaking of the shortest time required 
by the Doctors for the celebration of Mass says, it is 
generally understood to be about half an hour. 2 And 
he adds, that he should have great difficulty, ordinarily 
speaking, in believing that Mass could be said in a 
quarter of an hour, 3 that is, without many faults. 
Hence Father Roncaglia maintains as certain that a 
priest who says Mass in less than a quarter of an hour 
cannot be excused from grievous sin. 4 Pasqualigo and 
others in general say the same, after Cardinal Lam- 
bertini already cited, as Quarti, Bissus, Clericatus, etc. 
From all this it must follow, that a priest who celebrates 
any. Mass in less than a quarter of an hour (even a Mass 
for the dead, or of the Votive of the Blessed Virgin), can 
not, without great difficulty, not to say impossibility, be 
excused from mortal sin; because it is impossible to 
finish Mass in less time than a quarter, and not commit 
great irreverence against the holy Sacrifice, and give 
great scandal to the faithful. 

1 " Semihoram, in faciendo Sacro, nee multum excedat; neque ita 
brevis sit, ut illam non expleat." 

2 " Breviter, id est, circa dimidiam horam; vix enim breviori spatio 
possunt omnia in communibus Missis peragi cum debito decore ac de- 

3 " Nee facile quis mihi persuadebit se communiter cum sensu pieta- 
tis intra horse quadrantem finire Sacrum." Tract. 3, n. 814. 

4 " Nemo credat Missam esse prolixam, si mediam horam non ex 
cedat; et nimis brevem computare debent, si saltern tertiam horse par- 
tern non compleat, ut communiter decent doctores. Quia tamen, qui 
infra quadrantem Missam absolvit, necesse est valde indevote celebrare, 
plura confundere, truncare, vel saltern syncopare, ideo communiter 
dicitur peccare mortaliter. Ex hoc autem oritur, Episcopis et Prselatis 
regularibus, obligatio sub gravi turpemhanc et scandalosam celeritatem 
exstirpare." Tr. 18, q. 2, c. 3, q. 2. 

Three Things Necessary to celebrate well. 437 

But let us examine the excuses alleged by priests who 
commit such abuses. 

i. Then some one may plead: I say in a short time 
Mass, but I omit nothing; for, thank God, I am natu 
rally rapid in speech and in all my movements; and thus 
I soon pronounce all the words and perform all the cere 
monies with exactness. But I reply, this is not sufficient 
for the proper celebration of Mass, merely to pronounce 
the words, and to hurry through the ceremonies. They 
ought to be performed with appropriate gravity, which 
is intrinsically necessary to the reverence which is re 
quired; otherwise, if hastily performed, they do not ex 
hibit nor excite that reverence which is due to the holy 
Sacrifice; but, as shown above, they exhibit great irrev 
erence and cause great scandal to the faithful. Father 
Ouarti says: "It is certain that so much space of time 
is required as is needed to perform the ceremonies with 
the gravity that becomes so great a sacrifice." Pas- 
qualigo also says: "It must be said that it is better to 
incline to prolixity than to haste, because the majesty 
of the sacrifice requires the mode that is suitable to the 
gravity of the act, rather than the inclination to the 
opposite." 1 And he gives as the reason, that, in hurry 
ing through the Mass, there may be not only sin, but 
scandal also; which would not follow from prolonging 
it, but only at most weariness in those who were pres 
ent. " It is to be greatly feared," concludes Father 
Ouarti, " that a large number of priests who hurry 
through Mass will go to hell." 

" Certum requiri tantum spatium, quod possit satis esse ad per- 
ficiendas cseremonias ea gravitate, quae tantum Sacrificium decet." In 
Rnbr. p. i, t. 6, d. 6. 

2 " Dicendurn est satius csse declinare ad moderatam prolixitatem, 
quam ad indecentem accelerationem; quia majestas Sacrificii exigit pDtius 
ilium modum qui congruat gravitati actionis, quam declinationem ad 
oppositura." DC Siicr. A T oi ie Leg. q. 228, n. 4. 

43 8 The Mass hurriedly said. 

2. It may be said that among the conditions for prop 
erly celebrating Mass, laid down by divines, brevity 
is one: Alte, brevitcr, dare, devote, et exacte. But, I ask, 
why attend solely to one condition, breviter, and pay no 
regard to the other two, devote and exacte ? Besides, the 
Rubric 1 clearly explains what is meant by breviter, 
namely, that Mass should be said non nimis morose, ne 
aiidientes tcedio afficiantur. And the Rubric after these 
words immediately adds: nee nimis festinanter. Hence 
the continuator of Tourneley very properly says: "A 
short Mass is here meant, that does not take away de 
votion; hence if it be said in less than half an hour it 
could not be called devout, and consequently it would 
be said badly." 2 Yet he adds, that the term brevis is 
used in opposition to such an affected length of time 
in saying Mass as would weary those who heard it. 
Finally, the same author confirms what Pasqualigo says, 
to whom I have before referred: " It is better to in 
cline to length than to brevity, because by length one 
cannot sin grievously, and scandal is not given as it is in 
a Mass said in too short a time." 3 

A certain priest, in excuse for having said a short 
Mass, once pleaded that St. Philip Neri said Mass in 
half a quarter of an hour. But with what a want of 
good sense! It is true, as related by the author of his 
life, that St. Philip, when he said Mass publicly, was 
only a short time in celebrating; but the writer does not 

1 " Alte, breviter, clare, devote et exacte. Sacerdos autem maxime 
curare debet, ut ea quse clara voce dicenda sunt distincte et apposite 
proferat, non admodum festinanter, ut advertere possit quae legit; nee 
nimis morose, ne audientes taedio afficiat." R^lbr. gen. tit. 16, n. 2. 

2 " Brevis intelligitur (Missa) modo non destruat devotionem; unde, 
si esset infra dimidium bora, non posset dici devota, et consequenter 
male diceretur." 

" Melius est declinare in longitudinem, quam in brevitatem; quia 
cum longitudine non potest peccari graviter et scandalum dari, sicut in 
nimis brevi." 

Three Things Necessary to celebrate well. 439 

mean by a short time half a quarter of an hour, nor a 
quarter of an hour; he only meant that the saint avoided 
that wearisome tediousness which the Rubrics censure. 
For in the same life we read that the saint celebrated Mass, 
even in public, with so much devotion, that he moved 
all that heard him to tears of compunction. By a Mass 
of half a quarter of an hour he would not have moved 
others to tears, but to laughter and ridicule. 

3. It may be said: The people complain, and are im 
patient when Mass is long. In reply, I would first ask, 
whether the want of devotion in the people is to regu 
late the degree of reverence to be paid to the holy 
Sacrifice ? Secondly, I would answer, that if priests said 
Mass with becoming reverence and solemnity, the people 
would be impressed with proper respect for so holy a 
sacrifice, and would not complain of half an hour in 
being present at it. It is because Mass is but too gene 
rally said hastily and carelessly, that it does not ex 
cite the people to devotion; and hence, following the ex 
ample of those who so celebrate, they hear it indevoutly, 
and with but little faith. If they see a priest doing wrong 
for a quarter or half a quarter of an hour, they are dis 
gusted, and complain. They can spend hours at a gam 
ing table, or loitering in the streets to kill time, but are 
quite wearied with a Mass of half an hour. Priests are 
the cause of all this evil: To you, O priests ! saith the 
Lord, that despise My name, and have said: Wherein have 
we despised Thy name ? . . . /// that you say: The table of 
the Lord is contemptible. 1 The meaning of which is, that 
the little account which priests make of the reverence 
due to the Mass is the cause why it is not respected by 

Wherefore, my dear priest of God, be careful to say 

" Ad vos, O Sacerdotes, qui despicitis nomen meum et dixistis: In 
quo despeximus nomen tuum ? ... In eo quod dicitis: Mensa Domini 
despecta est." Mai. i. 7. 

44 The Mass hurriedly said. 

Mass in a proper manner, and heed not others who 
blame you. Be satisfied if God praises you and the 
angels who are present around the altar. And if any 
one, however great a personage, requests you to say a 
short Mass, answer him as St. Theotone, a Canon Regu 
lar, replied to Teresa, Queen of Portugal, when, on ac 
count of some pressing affairs, she requested him to be 
expeditious in saying Mass. There is a Queen, said the 
saint, in heaven, more exalted than your majesty, in 
whose honor I am about to celebrate Mass; if your 
majesty cannot remain, go and attend to your affairs; 
but I cannot treat the holy Sacrifice with irreverence by 
shortening the time required for offering it. 1 But what 
happened? The Queen, entering into herself, sent for 
the saint, and humbly casting herself at his feet, prom 
ised with tears to do penance for her rashness, 

Let us endeavor then to reform ourselves, if hitherto we 
have celebrated this great Sacrifice with but little rever 
ence and devotion. Let us consider how great is the 
action we are about to perform when we are going to 
celebrate Mass; and let us consider how great a treasure 
of merit we shall acquire by celebrating it devoutly. 
Oh, what a blessing for a priest is Mass well celebrated! 
The Disciple says: " Prayer is more quickly heard in the 
church in the presence of a priest celebrating.""* And 

" Respondit aliam in coelo Reginam esse longe meliorem, cui 
solemnia Missae peragere disposuerat; in potestate ejus esse, vel Mis- 
sam audire, vel penitus discedere." Boll. 18 Febr. Vit. p. i, c. 2. 

" Oratio citius exauditur in ecclesia in pnesentia Sacerdotis cele- 

* Such is the citation given by our author; but the following is what 
we read in the sermon indicated by John Herolt, called "The Disciple," 
speaking of the fruits of Mass to be derived by him who heard it: 
" Oratio tua citius exauditur in ecclesia in pnxscntia Dei,etetiam oratio 
Sacerdotis celebrantis; quia quilibet Sacerdos in qualibet Missa tene- 
turorare pro circumstantibus. Thy prayer also, as well as the prayer 
of the priest celebrating, is more quickly heard in the church in the 
presence of God, because every priest in every Mass is obliged to pray 
for those that are present." -De Sanctis. s. 48. 

Three Things Necessary to celebrate well. 441 

if the prayer of a secular is more certainly heard by God 
when offered up in the presence of a priest celebrating 
Mass, how much more the prayer of the priest himself, 
if lie celebrates devoutly ? He who says Mass every day 
devoutly, will receive from God a constant supply of 
heavenly light and strength. Jesus Christ will con 
stantly instruct him more and more, console him, ani 
mate him, and bestow upon him all the graces that he 
desires. Particularly after the consecration, a priest 
may be assured he will obtain from our Lord whatever 
he asks for. The Venerable Father Antony de Colellis 
says: "When I consecrate and hold Jesus Christ in my 
hands, I obtain whatever I desire." 

Lastly, in speaking of the respect that is due to Jesus 
Christ offering himself in sacrifice in the Mass, I would 
not omit the precept of Innocent III.: " We also com 
mand that the oratories, the vessels, corporals, and vest 
ments, should be kept clean; for it "appears to be too 
absurd to neglect in sacred things what is becoming in 
profane things." ] This Pope had but too much reason for 
speaking in this manner, for, in truth, there were those 
of his day who did not blush to celebrate, or to cause 
others to celebrate, with corporals, purificators, and 
chalices, which they would not have suffered to be used 
at their ow r n tables. 


Finally, a priest, after having celebrated Mass, must 
make a thanksgiving. St. John Chrysostom says that 
if men expect us to be grateful for every little favor that 
they do us, and to recompense them, how much more 
grateful ought we to be to God for the great benefits 

1 " Praecipimus quoquc ut oratoria, vasa, corporalia, et vestimcnta, 
munda et nitida conserventur; nimis enim videtur absurdum in sacris 
sordes negligere, qua? dedecerent etiam in profanis." 7V/. 44, can. i, 

442 The Mass hurriedly said. 

that he bestows upon us, since without any view to re 
compense, but only for our advantage, he would have 
us be grateful to him. 1 If we, continues the saint, can 
not thank God as he deserves, at least let us thank him 
as much as we are able. But what a misery, what an 
abuse, to see priests, as soon as Mass is finished, after 
having received from God the honor of offering up in 
sacrifice to him his own beloved Son, and after having 
partaken of his most sacred body, scarcely entered into 
the sacristy, with their lips still purpled with his blood, 
but after a short prayer muttered between their teeth, 
without devotion, and without attention, immediately 
begin to talk of useless things, or of the affairs of the 
world, and leave the church to pass through the streets, 
with Jesus Christ still present within them in the sac 
ramental species! It would be well to do with such 
what Father Avila once did. Seeing a priest leaving 
the church immediately after celebrating Mass, he sent 
two clerics with lights to accompany him; on which the 
priest inquiring what priest they were going to attend, 
they answered: We are accompanying the Blessed Sac 
rament which you carry within you. To such might be 
said what St. Bernard wrote to the archdeacon Fulcone: 
" Alas! how can you so soon grow tired of Jesus Christ!" : 
Many are the devout books that inculcate and enforce 
thanksgiving after Mass; but how many priests are there 
who make it ? Those who do make it may be easily dis 
tinguished. The wonder is, that while some are indeed 
diligent in meditation, and in other devotions, few or 
none remain after Mass to commune with Jesus Christ. 
Thanksgiving after Mass ought to terminate only with 

1 " Si homines 1 parvum beneficium pnestiterint, exspectant a nobis 
gratitudinem; quanto magis id nobis faciendum in iis quse a Deo ac- 
cipimus, qui hoc solum ob nostram utilitatem vult fieri!" In Gen. 
horn. 26. 

2 " Heu ! quomodo Christum tarn cito fastidis !" Epist. 2. 

Three Things Necessary to celebrate ivcll. 443 

the day. Father Avila says that the time after Mass 
ought to be considered as of the greatest value. The 
time after Mass is a most precious time, in which we 
may treat with God and obtain from him treasures of 
grace. St. Teresa says, Let us not lose after Com 
munion so fine an opportunity of treating with God: 
his divine Majesty is not accustomed to repay those ill 
with whom he takes up his abode when they afford him 
a suitable entertainment. - In another place she says 
that Jesus Christ, after Communion, sits within us as 
upon the throne of graces, and says to each of us, as to 
the blind man whom he restored to sight, What wilt Thou 
that I should do for T/iee? 1 As though he said, I am 
here, O devout soul, to bestow upon thee my choicest 
graces: tell me, what wouldst thou that I should do for 
thee ? 

Moreover, it is the opinion of many learned writers, 
of Suarez, 2 of Gonet, 3 and of others, that the more the 
soul, after Communion, during the Jime that the sac 
ramental species remain, disposes herself by fervent acts 
of devotion, the greater are the fruits which she reaps 
from it; because the Blessed Sacrament is in the nature 
of food, and as corporal food, so long as it remains in 
the stomach, nourishes the body: so with this spiritual 
and heavenly food so long as it remains in the body, so 
long does it nourish the soul with divine graces, and the 
more plentifully in proportion as the soul disposes her 
self to receive them by continued acts of suitable de 
votion. Besides, during this time, every pious act is of 
greater value and merit, inasmuch as the communicant 
is united to Jesus Christ according to his own words: 
He that catcth My flesh, and drinketh My blood, abideth in 

1 " Quid tibi vis faciam ?" Mark, x. 51. 

2 DC Sacra ni. disf>. 63, 7. 

3 Man. Thoni. p. 3, tr. 4, c. 9. 

444 The M ass hurriedly said. 

Me and I in him. 1 And as St. John Chrysostom says, 
Jesus Christ makes us then one with himself. 2 And 
hence acts of piety and devotion are more meritorious 
then than at any other time, because they proceed from 
the soul in union with Jesus Christ. 

On the contrary, our Lord will not waste his graces 
on the ungrateful, as St. Bernard says. 3 Father Avila 
used to spend two hours in prayer and in communing 
with Jesus Christ after celebrating Mass. Oh, with 
what tenderness and affection does Jesus Christ speak 
to the soul after Communion! with what endearing love 
does he treat her! It would not be much for a priest to 
spend an hour with Jesus Christ after Mass. At least, I 
beseech every priest to spend half an hour, or at the 
very least, a quarter. But, O God! a quarter is too little! 
St. Ambrose says: " A true minister of the altar is born 
for God, not for himself." 4 If, then, a priest, from the 
time of his ordination, belongs no more to himself, nor 
to the world, nor to his relatives, but only to God, for 
whom ought he to spend his whole life, but for God, 
and particularly after Communion, by uniting himself 
with Jesus Christ. 


The Priest who abstains from saying Mass. 

In conclusion, I would say a word, in passing, on the 
question whether it is more pleasing to God to say 
Mass, or to abstain from saying it through humility. 

To abstain through humility is good, but not best. 

1 " Qui manducat meam carnem, et bibit meum sanguincm, in me 
manet, et ego in illo." Jo. vi. 57. 

2 " Ipsa re nos suum efficit corpus." 

3 " Numquid non perit, quod donatur ingrato ?" /;/ Cunt. s. 51. 

4 " Verus minister altaris Deo, non sibi natus cst." In Ps. cxviii. 
s. 8. 

Three Things Necessary to celebrate well. 445 

Acts of humility render to God a limited honor; but the 
Mass an infinite honor, as coming from a divine person. 
Mark what Venerable Bede says: "The priest who 
omits to say Mass, though he is not lawfully prevented, 
deprives, as far as in him lies, the Blessed Trinity of 
glory, the angels of joy, the sinners of pardon, the just 
of help, the souls in purgatory of solace, the Church of 
benefits, and himself of spiritual medicine." 

The glorious St. Cajetan, being in Naples, and hearing 
that a Cardinal, a friend of his, who had been accus 
tomed to say Mass every day, began to celebrate less 
frequently in consequence of the multiplicity of affairs 
in which he was engaged, could not, although it was 
during the dog-days, be persuaded from going at the 
risk of his life to Rome, to entreat his friend to resume 
his former custom in this respect, and went, and then 
returned again to Naples. 

It is related of Father John of Avila, that on one 
occasion going on his way to say Mass at a distant her 
mitage, he became so overcome with fatigue, that de 
spairing of being able to reach the place, which was still 
at a considerable distance, he began to think of return 
ing without saying Mass; on which Jesus Christ appear 
ing to him as a pilgrim, and opening his bosom and 
showing him his wounds, particularly that in his sacred 
side, said, "When I was thus wounded, I was much 
more overcome and exhausted than thou art;" and so 
saying, disappeared. Father Avila roused himself, 
went forward, and celebrated Mass. 

"Cum Sacerdos, mm habens legitimum impedimentum, celebrare 
omittit, quantum in sc est, privat Trinitatem gloria, Angelos latitia, 
peccatores venia, justos subsidio, in purgatorio existentes refrigerio, 
Ecclesiam beneficio, ct seipsum medicina." DC Pi\cp. ad J7. c. 5. 

?Dimne dDffue 

Importance of the Divine Office. 

To those who are deputed by the Church to recite the 
canonical hours, two very great and important offices 
are entrusted that of praising and glorifying God, and 
that of imploring the divine mercies upon all Christian 

I. In the first place, then, the supreme majesty of God 
is to be honored by the reciting of the Office. The 
sacrifice of praise shall glorify Me: and there is the way by 
which I will show him the salvation of God. 1 I declare 
myself honored, saith the Lord, by him who offers me a 
sacrifice of praise; and thereby he shall find the way of 
obtaining eternal salvation. St. Mary Magdalene of 
Pazzi, when she heard the bell for Office, was filled with 
consolation/ and hastened immediately to the choir, de 
lighted with the thought that she was going to be en 
gaged in the employment of the angels, whose constant 
occupation it is to praise God. And it is for this end 
that the Church has appointed her ministers to sing the 
divine Office, that men on earth may join with the 
blessed in heaven in honoring their common Creator: 

Sed ilia sedes Coelitum 
Semper resultat laudibus: 
Deum trinum et unicum, 
Jugi canore pnedicat. 
Illi canentes jungimur 
Almae Sionis semuli. 

1 " Sacrificium laudis honorificabit me; et illic iter quo ostendam illi 
salulare Dei. ^-/^. 49, 23. 

Importance of the Divine Office. 447 

^ St. Gregory Nazianzen says that the chanting of the 
psalms is a prelude of the praises with which the saints 
honor God in heaven. 1 Thus, according to Tertullian, 
when we recite the canonical hours, we as it were take 
possession of heaven, inasmuch as we discharge the 
same duty as the inhabitants of that blessed country. 
Hence, St. Catharine of Bologna took so much delight 
in reciting the divine Office, that she wished her death 
might take place while she was so engaged. 

II. By the Office God is to be thanked for all the 
graces and favors that he is continually bestowing on 
mankind, and his divine mercy is to be obtained for 
poor sinners. It is the duty of the faithful in general 
to thank God for all his benefits; and as all stand in 
need here below of the divine assistance, in order to re 
sist their spiritual enemies, and to obtain eternal salva 
tion, so all are likewise bound to implore by prayer the 
succor of his mercies. But, as seculars are constantly 
distracted with the affairs of the world, the holy Church 
has appointed her ministers to implore for themselves 
and for all the people of Christ the assistance of his 
divine majesty through the different hours of the day. 
For this end is the Office divided into seven canonical 
hours, that there may be always some praying for all, 
and in the best form of prayer; inasmuch as the divine 
Office is nothing less than a memorial drawn up for us 
by God himself, through which he may more readily 
hear our prayers and succor us in our necessities, as he 
declares to us by the prophet Isaias: My spirit that is in 
thee, and My words that I have put in thy month, shall not 
depart out of thy month. In this our good God acts as a 
prince, who, wishing to relieve the miseries of his vas- 

" Psalmorum cantus illius (coelestis) hymnodke praludium est." 
Oral, in S. Baptismuni. 

" Spiritus meus, qui est in te. et vcrba mea, qua posui in ore tuo, 
non recede nt de ore tuo." /$. lix. 21. 

448 The Divine Office hurriedly said. 

sals, draws up for them himself a form of supplication 
suitable to his dignity and their own wants, that he may 
be the better able to console them. Many private pray 
ers do not equal in value only one prayer of the divine 
Office, as being offered to God in the name of the whole 
Church and in his own appointed words. Hence St. 
Mary Magdalene of Pazzi says that, in comparison with 
the divine Office, all other prayers and devotions are 
but of little merit and efficacy with God. Let us be 
convinced, then, that after the holy Sacrifice of the 
Mass the Church possesses no source, no treasure, so 
abundant as the Office, from which we may draw such 
daily streams of grace. 

Necessity of reciting the Office well. 

But St. Gregory says that true prayer consists not 
only in the pronunciation of the words, but also in the 
attention of the heart; inasmuch as our good desires 
prevail much more with God in obtaining his divine 
mercies, than simply our voices. 1 It is therefore neces 
sary, if we would please God, to pray not only with the 
voice, but with the spirit and the mind, after the ex 
ample of the Apostle: I will sing with the spirit, I will 
sing also with the understanding? 

If priests and religious did all recite the Office as it 
ought to be recited, the Church would not behold her 
self in the miserable state to which she is reduced. How 
many sinners would be delivered from the slavery of 
the devil, and how many souls would love God with 
much greater fervor! And how would priests them- 

1 " Vera postulatio non in oris est vocibus, sed in cogitationibus cor- 
dis ; valentiores namque voces apud aures Dei non faciunt verba nos- 
tra, sed desideria." Mor. 1. 22, c. 18. 

- " Orabo spiritu, orabo et mente ; psallam spiritu, psallam et 
mente." /. Cor. xiv. 15. 

Necessity of reciting the Office well. 449 

selves not find themselves ever the same, imperfect, 
irritable, jealous, attached to their own interests, and led 
away by vanities! Our Lord has promised to hear every 
one who prays to him: For crcry one that asketh, receiveth? 
And how comes it that a priest offering up so many 
prayers in a day, were it only in the Office which he re 
cites, is yet never heard ? He is always the same, as 
weak and prone as ever to fall not only into slight sins 
(to which he is habituated, and takes neither pains nor 
care to correct himself of them), but into grievous sins 
against chanty, justice, or chastity; hence when he re 
cites the Office he pronounces sentence of condemna 
tion against himself, in these words: They are cursed who 
decline from Thy commandments? And what is still worse, 
he feels little remorse, excusing himself as being of the 
same flesh and blood as other men, and not able to re 
strain himself. But if he said the Office with fewer dis 
tractions and less negligence, accompanying with his 
heart the many prayers that he offers to God in reciting 
it, he certainly would not be so weak, but would ac 
quire fortitude and strength to resist all temptations, 
and to lead a holy life, such as becomes a priest of God. 
But how, says St. Gregory, 3 can God regard the 
prayers of him who knows not what he is asking, nor 
at all times desires to be heard ? The Apostle tells us 
that the prayer only of the lips is fruitless: If I pray in 
a tongue, . . . but my understanding is without fruit? How 
can you pretend, adds St. Cyprian, to be heard by God, 
when you do not hear yourself? As prayer offered 

" Omnis enim qui petit, accipit." Lnkt t xi. 10. 
2 " Maledicti, qui declinant a mandatis tuis." Ps. cxviii. 21. 

" Illam orationem non audit Deus, cui, qui orat, non intendit." 
Ap. S. Thorn. 2. 2, q. 83, a. 13. 

" Si orcm lingua, . . . mcns autem mea sine fructu est." i Cor. 
xiv. 14. 

" Quomodo te audiri a Deo postulas, cum te ipse non audias." 
DC Orat. Dom, 

450 The Divine Office hurriedly said. 

with attention and devotion is a sweet-smelling incense, 
which is most pleasing to God, and brings down for us 
treasures of grace; so, on the contrary, prayer offered 
with distractions and indevotion is an abomination in 
his eyes, which excites his indignation, and brings upon 
us his wrath. 

The Almighty one day complained of this to St. 
Bridget, saying, that priests lost much time every day, 
in entertaining themselves with their friends on worldly 
topics; bat that when they came to speak with him in 
the divine Office, they were in such haste, that instead 
of honoring they dishonored him. Hence St. Augustine 
said that the barking of a dog was more pleasing to 
God than the chanting of such priests. O God, how in 
dignant would an earthly prince be were one of his vas 
sals, while in the act of petitioning him for some favor, 
to be so distracted and taken up with other things as 
not to know what he was saying! Hence the angelic 
Doctor writes, that no one can be excused from sin, who 
at prayer, although not of obligation, is voluntarily dis 
tracted, because he thereby slights God, as one would 
do, who, speaking to another, paid no attention to what 
he was saying. 1 

Alas ! of how many priests will the Lord complain, as 
he complained of old of the Jews ! This people honoreth 
Me with their lips: but their heart is far from Me. 2 And 
of how many might be said what Peter of Blois writes: 
While their lips pronounce the psalms and canticles, 
their minds are in the pleasures of the table; thinking 
how they may best gratify their appetites or their 
vanity, their thirst for riches or similar worldly desires. 3 

1 " Non est absque peccato, quod aliquis orando evagationem mentis 
patiatur; videtur enim deridere Deum, sicut si alicui homini loqueretur, 
et non attenderet ad ea qua; ipse proferret." 2. 2, q. 83, a. 13. 

2 " Populushic labiis me honorat; cor autem eorum longe est a me !" 
Matt. xv. 8. 

3 " Labia sunt in canticis, animus in patinis." Serm. 59. 

Necessity of reciting the Office well. 45 i 

The Council of Treves says: What else is it to chant 
the psalms with the voice, and in mind to be going 
through the streets and squares, but to deceive men, by 
making them believe that you are praising God, when 
in reality you are mocking him, speaking to him indeed 
with your lips, but giving your minds and hearts to any 
thing rather than to praising him and praying to him ? 
Hence St. Basil justly concludes, that as, in order to ob 
tain favors, it is necessary to pray for them with atten 
tion and fervor, so he who prays with a mind wandering 
upon distracting objects will not obtain the favors which 
he asks, but will provoke the Lord to indignation. 2 

Our Lord has said by his prophet Malachy, that he 
curses the praises of those priests who bless him only 
with their lips, while their hearts are engaged upon 
everything else but his honor and glory: And now, O ye 
priests, this commandment is to you. If you will not hear, 
and if you will not lay it to heart, to give glory to My name, 
saith the Lord of hosts, . . . / will curse your blessings? 
Hence may be said of that unhappy priest, who says his 
Office in this careless manner, what is written in the 
book of psalms: May the devil stand at his right hand. 
When he is judged, may he go out condemned: and may his 
prayer be turned to sin." 

While he is reciting the divine praises with his lips 
only, sometimes only half pronouncing the words, at 
other times conversing or amusing himself with others, 

"Quid est voce psallere, mente autem domum aut forum circumire, 
nisi homines fallerc, et Deum irridere ?" Anno 1549, Cap. 6, de Hor. can. 

8 " Divinum axilium est implorandum non remisse, nee mente hue 
vel illuc evagante; eo quod talis, non solum non impetrabit, sed magis 
Deum irritabit." Const, ttwn. c. 2. 

3 " Ad vos mandatum hoc, O Sacerdotes ! ... Si nolueritis ponere 
super cor, ut detis gloriam nomini meo, . . . maledicarn benedictioni- 
bus vestris." Mai. ii. i. 

" Diabolus stet a dextris ejus. Cum judicatur, exeat condemnatus; 
et oratio ejus fiat in peccatum." Ps. cviii. 6. 

45 2 The Divine Office hurriedly said. 

his mind dissipated and distracted with the affairs or 
pleasures of the world, the devil stands by his side, and 
his reward for such an Office will be eternal damnation, 
since his very prayer itself will be imputed to him as a 
sin, on account of the unworthy manner in which he 
offers it; which is the signification of those words: and 
may his prayer be turned to sin. 

Hence the devil is so busy in putting into the mind, 
while we are reciting the Office, so many of the affairs, 
desires and pleasures of the world, that engaging our 
thoughts with such things, he may rob us of all the 
fruit we might otherwise reap from the Office, and 
render us culpable in the sight of God, by causing us 
to treat him with so little respect. On this account we 
ought to take the greatest care to recite the divine 
praises with proper attention. A good religious once 
said, that when pressed for time we had better shorten 
our mental prayer in order to have sufficient leisure to 
recite the Office with proper devotion. Agreeably with 
this, we find in the rules of the Carthusians that God is 
not pleased with any act of devotion which we perform, 
if by performing it we neglect that to which duty obliges 
us. 1 

Requisite Attention and Devotion. 

But omitting other reflections, let us come to the 
manner in which we are practically to recite the Office 
with becoming attention and devotion. 

Before everything else, says St. John Chrysostom, 
\\hen we enter the church, or take the breviary in our 
hands, to discharge our obligation of reciting the divine 
Office, let us leave outside the door and expel from our 

"Spiritus Sanctus gratum non recipit, quidquid aliud, quam quod 
debes, obtuleris, neglecto eo quod debes." 

Requisite Attention and Devotion. 453 

minds all worldly thoughts. 1 To this does the Holy 
Spirit exhort us when he says: Before prayer prepare thy 
soul? Consider that then the Church charges you as 
her minister to go and praise the Lord, and to implore 
his divine mercies for all mankind. Imagine to yourself 
that the angels stand by you, as they were once seen by 
Blessed Herman, with censers in their hands, ready to 
offer up your prayers to God as sweet-smelling incense 
of holy love, as the psalmist says: Let my prayer be directed 
as incense in thy sight. " Thus the apostle St. John de 
scribes the angels as having, . . . golden vials full of odors, 
iv hie h are the prayers of the saints. 1 In a word, think that 
you are going to speak with God, and to treat with him 
of your own welfare, and of that of the whole Church; 
and reflect that he then regards you with greater love, 
and listens more propitiously to your petitions. 

In the beginning, then, offer to him the praises that 
you are about to pour forth in his honor, and beseech 
him to free you from distractions, and to give you light 
and help to praise him and to pray to him as he deserves; 
and for this end recite attentively the usual prayer: Aperi 
Dotnine os nieuni ad benedicenduni, etc. 

When you begin the Office, do not hurry yourself in 
order to get through it as soon as possible, as some do; 
and would to God they were not the greater number. 
O my God ! the Office is to be said, and at once we are 
weary. And shall we, in order to spare ourselves a little 
more time required to recite it devoutly, displease God, 
and deprive ourselves of the graces and merits that we 
might otherwise gain by reciting it with proper atten 
tion ? 

" Ne quis ingrediatur templum curis onustus mundanis; h^c ante 
ostium deponamus." /// Is. horn. 2. 

" Ante orationem, pnepara animam tuam." Ecilus. xviii. 23. 

" Dirigatur oratio mea sicut incensum in conspectu tuo." Ps. cxl. 2. 

" Habentes .... phialas aureas plenas odoramentorum. quresunt 
orationes sanctorum." Apse. 5, S. 

454 The Divine Office hurriedly said. 

We should then place ourselves in a modest and be 
coming posture. If we do not intend to say it kneeling 
or standing, but sitting down, let us at least carefully 
avoid any negligent attitude. It is related of two religi 
ous, that while they were reciting Matins together re 
clined as on a couch, the devil appeared to them, bring 
ing with him an intolerable stench, and scornfully said 
to them: Such prayer deserves such incense. 1 It would 
greatly contribute to our devotion to recite the Office 
before a crucifix and a statue or picture of the Blessed 
Virgin, that, casting a look now and then upon them, we 
may be enabled to renew our intentions and devout af 

Endeavor, therefore, while you recite the psalms, if 
you would derive great advantage from them, to renew 
from time to time your attention and devout affections; 
that your devotion, says St. Augustine, 2 which gradually 
grows cold unless frequent efforts be made to inflame it 
may not be entirely extinguished. 

Attention during the recital of the divine Office is of 
three kinds; and I speak here of internal attention; be 
cause as regards external attention it is quite necessary 
that we should abstain from everything incompatible 
with internal attention, as writing, conversation with 
others, or listening to others speaking, and such like 
things, which require considerable application of mind. 
And it will be well here to note, what the learned re 
mark, that such as recite their Office in the squares, 
streets, and other such places, where they are much ex- 
posed to distractions, are in great danger of not satisfy 
ing their obligation. 

But to return to internal attention it regards the 

1 " Ad talem orationem tale debetur incensum." -Jordanus Sax. Vit. 
Fratr. 1. 2, c. 15. 

2 " Ne, quod tepescere coeperat, omnino frigescat et penitus exstin- 
guatnr, nisi crebrius inflammetur. " Kpist. 130, li.. B. 

Requisite A I tent ion and Devotion. 455 

words, the sense, and God, as divines in general teach 
with St. Thomas, who says: "There is a threefold atten 
tion that maybe employed in vocal prayer: one that re 
gards the words, so that one may not make a mistake in 
uttering the words; the second, by which we attend to 
the sense of the words; and the third, by which the at 
tention is given to the end of prayer, namely, to God 
and to the thing for which the prayer is offered." 

The first kind of attention is to the words, by which a 
person is careful in pronouncing them entirely and dis 
tinctly. The second is to the sense, by attending to the 
signification of the words, in order that the heart may 
accompany them with appropriate affections. The 
third and the best is to God, by directing the mind to 
him during prayer, by adoring him, by thanking or lov 
ing him, or by imploring his graces. The first kind of 
attention, whenever there has been from the beginning 
an intention of praying, is sufficient to satisfy the ob 
ligation, the Church requiring no more, as St. Thomas 
teaches in another place: " The first is attention to the 
words by which we ask; secondly, to the petition itself, 
and whichever of these two is present, the prayer is not 
to be regarded as inattentive." 2 But he who says the 
Office with this kind of attention only, without either 
of the other two, will never say it with devotion, nor 
without many defects, nor with much fruit. And what 
benefit can a priest expect to derive from his Office if 
he says it merely with his lips, endeavoring all the time 
to dispatch it as quickly as possible, in order to free 

"Triplex est attentio qua oratiotii vocal i potest adhiberi: una qui- 
dem, qua attcnditur ad verba. ne aliquis in eis erret; secunda, qua atten- 
ditur ad sensum verborum; tertia, qua attenclitur ad finem orationis, 
scilicet, ad Deum et ad rem pro qua oratur." 2. 2, q. 83, a. 13. 

" Prima est attentio ad verba quibus petimus, deinde ad petitionem 
ipsam, et ad ea quae petitionem circumstant; ct quaecumque harum at- 
tentionum adsit, non est reputamki inattenta oratio." /;/ 4 S<-rt/. d. 15, 
q. 4, a. 2, sol. 5 

456 The Divine Office hurriedly said. 

himself of a burden pressing heavily upon his shoulders? 
or as though he were swallowing a nauseous medicine ? 
What benefit can he expect, if, worse than this, while he 
is reciting his Office, he allows his mind to be dissipated, 
now looking about him at distracting objects, and now 
sometimes even intermixing with what he is repeating 
irrelevant words and phrases? St. Bona venture 1 re 
lates, that in Paris a good priest being asked a question 
by a certain prelate on some affair while he was saying 
his Office, replied that he was speaking with a person 
of higher dignity, and that therefore he could not at 
tend to the question, and bowing his head continued his 
Office. On the other hand, the same saint relates of 
another ecclesiastic that he was condemned to very 
severe punishments in purgatory on account of the 
many interruptions which he had allowed in the recita 
tion of his Office. 

It is not, however, meant that we should disquiet or 
afflict ourselves on account of the involuntary distrac 
tions that molest us in our Office. So long as they are 
not voluntary, they are not sinful. Our Lord has com 
passion on our infirmity, through which distracting 
thoughts come into our minds without our seeking 
them, and hence will not hinder the fruit of the prayers 
which we recite. " He prays in spirit and in truth," 
says St. Thomas, " who from an instinct of the spirit 
devotes himself to prayer, although through some weak 
ness his mind may afterwards wander." And he adds, 
that it happens even to souls who are raised to the exer 
cise of contemplation, that they cannot remain long in 
the exercise of this high gift without being pressed 

1 Spec. Disc. p. i. c. 16. 

" In spiritu et veritate orat, qui ex instinctu spiritus ad adorandum 
accedit, etiamsi. ex aliqua infirmitate, mens postmodum evagetur." 
2. 2, q. 83, a. 13. 

Requisite Attention and Devotion. 457 

down by the weight of human misery interrupting them 
with involuntary distraction. 1 

On the other hand, the holy Doctor says, that he who 
is voluntarily and purposely distracted in prayer can 
not derive any benefit from it, nor be excused from sin. 2 
By purposely is meant, as the learned in general say, 
when a person perceiving his distractions wilfully en 
tertains them. Against such St. Cyprian exclaims, that 
it is iin insupportable irreverence in the eyes of God, 
for a person while he is praying to him to think of 
other things as though of more importance than his 
speaking with God in order to implore his divine graces. 3 
Hence St. Bernard teaches that as our will renders our 
thoughts efficacious in obtaining the fruits of the Spirit, 
so our will, if neglected, renders them unworthy of 
God, and thus deserving chastisements instead of fa 
vors. 1 

St. Bernard had a celebrated vision on this subject, 
which is related in the chronicles of the Cistercians. 
As he was one night chanting the Office in choir with 
his monks, he saw an angel writing at the side of 
each of them. Some of the angels were writing with 
gold, others with silver, others with ink, others with 
water, and others stood with their pens in their hands 
without writing anything. Our Lord made known to 
the saint that the gold signified the fervor of charity 

1 " Metis humana diu stare in alto non potest; pondere enim infirmi- 
tatis hu manse deprimitur ad inferiora. Et ideo contingit quod, quando 
mens orantis ascendit in Deum per contemplationem, subito evagetur." 
Loco cit. 

" Si quis ex proposito in oratione mente evagetur, hoc peccatum 
est, et imped it orationis fructum." Ibid. 

"Quae segnitia est alienari, cum Dominum deprecaris, quasi sit 
aliud quod magis debeas cogitare, quam quod cum Deo loqueris. " DC 
Oral. Dom. 

"Voluntas neglecta facit cogitationes indignas Deo; pia, efficaces 
ad fructum spiritus." DC Vita sol. c. 16. 

458 The Divine Office hurriedly said. 

with which their prayers were recited; the silver, devo 
tion, but less fervor; the ink, diligence in pronouncing 
all the words, but without devotion; the water, negli 
gence, and but little attention to what was said ; and that 
the angels who wrote nothing signified, that those who 
were voluntarily distracted were guilty of great irrever 
ence to God. On the contrary, St. Robert, Abbot, be 
ing also in the choir, had a different vision. He saw 
the devil going round, and finding one drowsy, laughed 
at him; and another distracted, was greatly delighted, 
and showed that he was very much pleased with him. 

When then, O priest of God, you take in hand your 
breviary, imagine that an angel is on one side noting 
down your merits in the book of life, if you say the 
Office with devotion; and on the other side that the 
devil is writing down your faults in the book of death, 
if you say it with wilful distractions. By such thoughts 
endeavor to excite yourself to recite it with all the de 
votion in your power. For this end not only begin the 
Office with attention, but renew your attention at the 
beginning of every psalm, that you may be able to ac 
company in heart all the sentiments which you utter. 
" When you pray to God," writes St. Augustine, " let 
that be poured out in your heart which is uttered by 
your lips." He again adds: " If the psalm prays, then 
pray." 5 St. Thomas observes that words pronounced 
devoutly with the lips excite devotion in the mind. 3 
And on this account he says our Lord has taught us to 
pray with the voice, that thereby in reciting our prayers 
we may apply the mind to ask what we pronounce with 

1 " Cum oratis Deum, hoc versetur in corde, quod profertur in voce." 
Epist. 211, E. B. 

" Si orat Psalmus, orate; si gemit, gemite; si sperat, sperate."- 
In Ps. 30, en. 4. 

" Verba significantia aliquid ad devotionem pertinens, excitant men- 
tes." 2. 2, q. 83, a. 12. 

Lights and Graces derived from the Office. 459 

the tongue. And this is what we read in the celebrated 
Canon of the Fifth Council of Lateran, 1 beginning with 
Dolentcs, namely, that the Office be recited Studiose et 
devote, quantum Deus dederit: Studiose, by pronouncing 
all the words: Devote, by exercising the heart in the sen 
timents which are uttered. We should be thoroughly 
persuaded of what St. Augustine says, that the graces 
which we desire and beseech for ourselves and for 
others are obtained more by the effusions of the heart 
than by the sounds of the voice. 3 

Lights and Graces derived from the Office well recited. 

Cassian relates that the monks of Egypt held that it 
was better to sing ten verses deliberately and devoutly, 
than an entire psalm with distraction of mind. 3 Oh, 
how many lights and graces are received through the 
psalms when recited with deliberation and reflection! 
St. Epiphanius says: The psalms enlighten the mind, 
rejoice the soul, direct it to heaven, and render it famil 
iar with God. 

It is true that many passages of the psalms- are ob 
scure and difficult to be understood without explana 
tion; but there are many others easy and clear, which 
serve to reanimate our faith, our confidence in God, our 
love for him, and our good desires. We will here cite 
a few examples. 

i. FAITH. 

They reanimate our faith by placing before our eyes 
the eternal truths of the existence of God, of the crea 
tion of the world, of the last things, and of the im- 
1 Cap. Dolentcs, dc Ccl. Missar. 

" Hoc negotium plus gemitibus quam sermonibus agitur." Epist. 
130, E. B. 

Utilius habent decem versus cum rationabili assignatione cantari, 
quam totum psalmum cum confusione mentis effundi." DC Cccnob. 
inst, 1. 2, c. ii. 

460 The Divine Office hurriedly said. 

mortality of the soul. How especially do they invigorate 
our faith by the many prophecies that they contain of 
the great work of our Redemption, delivered so many 
ages before the event took place ! 

Holy David predicted in many places the coming of 
our Redeemer: " Redemisti me, Domine Deus veri- 
tatis;" 1 " Redemptionem misit populo suo;" 2 " Copiosa 
apud eum redemptio." : 

He predicted in particular many things regarding the 
Passion. He predicted the council of the chief priests 
and elders, when they would assemble to bring about 
the death of Jesus Christ. " Principes convenerunt in 
unum adversus Dominum et adversus Christum ejus." 4 
He predicted the crucifixion: " Foderunt munus meas 
et pedes meos: dinumeraverunt omnia ossa mea." He 
foretold how the executioners would divide his gar 
ments, and for his inner garment cast lots: " Diviserunt 
sibi vestimenta mea, et super vestem meam miserunt 
sortem." He predicted the thirst of Jesus Christ, and 
the gall mixed with vinegar which they would give him 
to drink upon the cross: " Et dederunt in escam meam 
fel: et in siti mea potaverunt me aceto."" 

He predicted also the conversion of the Gentiles: 
" Convertentur ad Dominum universi fines terrae, et 
adorabunt in conspectu ejus universae familiae gen 
tium." ! 


How many beautiful sentiments of confidence in God 
do the Psalms contain! 

" Dominus, firmamentum meum, et refugium meum, 
et liberator meus. Laudans invocabo Dominum, et ab 
inimicis meis salvus ero. Protector est omnium speran- 
tium in se." c 

1 Ps. xxx. 6. 2 Ps. ex. g. 3 Ps. cxxix. 7. 

4 Ps. ii. 2. 5 Ps. xxi. 17. (i Ps. xxi. 19. 

7 Ps. Ixviii. 22. 8 Ps. xxi. 28. 9 Ps. xvii. 3, 4, 31. 

Lights and (traces derived from the Office. 461 

"Dominus, illuminatio mea et salus mea; quern ti- 
mebo ?" J 

" In te Domine, speravi, non confundar in eeternum. 
In manus tuas commendo spiritum meum." 2 

" Sperantem autem in Domino misericordia circum- 

" Fiat misericordia tua, Domine, super nos, quemad- 
modum speravimus in te." 4 

" Misericordias Domini in ceternum cantabo." 5 

"Quoniam in me speravit, liberabo eum." 6 

" Vivet anima mea, et laudabit te." 7 

" Spiritus tuus bonus deducet me in terram rectam!" 8 


How many acts of love ! 

" Satiabor, cum apparuerit gloria tua." 9 

" Diligam te, Domine, fortitudo mea." 10 

"Magnificate Dominum mecum, et exaltemus nomen 
ejus in idipsum." " 

" Ouemadmodum desiderat cervus ad fontes aquarum, 
ita desiderat anima mea ad te, Deus. Quando veniam 
et apparebo ante faciem Dei ?" 12 

"Paratum cor meum, Deus, paratum cor meum." 13 

"Sitivit in te anima mea; quam multipliciter tibi caro 
mea !" 

"Confiteantur tibi populi, Deus, confiteantur tibi po- 
puli omnes." 

" Quid enim mihi est in ccelo ? et a te quid volui super 
terram ? . . . Deus cordis mei, et pars mea. Deus, in 
aeternum." 16 

" Memor fui Dei, et delectatus sum." 17 

1 Ps. xxvi. I. 

2 Ps. xxx. 2, 6. 

a Ps. xxxi. 10. 

4 Ps. xxxii. 22. 

5 Ps. Ixxxviii. 2. 

6 Ps. xc. 14. 

7 Ps. cxviii. 175. 

8 Ps. cxlii. 10. 

9 Ps. xvi. 15. 

10 Ps. xvii. 2. 

11 Ps. xxxiii. 4. 

12 Ps. xli. 2. 3. 

13 Ps. Ivi. 8. 

14 Ps. Ixii. 2. 

15 Ps. Ixvi. 4. 

16 Ps. Ixxii. 25. 

17 Ps. Ixxvi. 4. 

462 The Divine Office hurriedly said. 


How many acts of thanksgiving! 

"Venite, audite, et narrabo, omnes qui timetis Deum, 
quanta fecit animse meae." 

" Quid retribuam Domino pro omnibus quae retribuit 
mihi?" 2 

How many acts of humility ! 

"Ego autem sum vermis, et non homo; opprobrium 
hominum, et abjectio plebis." : 

" Eruisti animam meam ex inferno inferiori." 

"Nisi quia Dominus adjuvit me, paulo minus habitas- 
set in inferno anima mea." 

" Erravi sicut ovis quae periit; quaere servum tuum." 

** Et non intres in judicium cum servo tuo, quia non 
justificabitur in conspectu tuo omnis vivens." 

How many acts of contrition ! 

" Fuerunt mihi lacrymae meae panes die ac nocte, dum 
dicitur mihi quotidie: Ubi est Deus tuus?" 8 

" Exitus aquarum deduxerunt oculi mei, quia non 
custodierunt legem tuam. Iniquitatem odio habui et 
abominatus sum." 9 

How many acts of firm purpose of amendment ! 

"Legem tuam in medio cordis mei !" : 

" Docebo iniquos vias tuas." 1 

" Custodiam legem tuam semper. In aeternum non 
obliviscar jtistificationes tuas. Juravi et statui custodire 
judicia justitiae tuae." 


Nearly all the psalms abound in holy thoughts. In 
the fiftieth psalm alone, how many beautiful prayers ! 

1 Ps. Ixv. 16. 2 Ps. cxv. 12. 3 Ps. xxi. 7. 

4 Ps. Ixxxv. 13. 5 Ps. xciii. 17. 6 Ps. cxviii. 176. 

7 Ps. cxlii. 2. 8 Ps. xli. 4. 9 Ps. cxviii. 136, 163. 

11 Ps. Ixv. 12 Ps. cxviii. 44, 93, 106. 

Lights and Graces derived from the Office. 463 

" Miserere mei, Deus, secundum magnam misericor- 
diam tuam. Averte faciem tuam a peccatis meis. Cor 
mundum crea in me, Deus. Ne projicias me a facie tua. 
Spiritu principali confirma me." 

How many other beautiful prayers in Psalm cxviii., 
which is every day recited in the Little Hours ! 

" Doce me justificationes tuas. Revela oculos meos. 
Viam iniquitatis amove a me. Averte oculos meos, ne 
videant vanitatem. Da mihi intellectum, ut discam 
mandata tua. Fiat misericordia tua ut consoletur me. 
-Non confundas me ab expectatione mea. Adjuvame, 
et salvus ero. Suscipe servum tuum in bonum. Aspice 
in me, et miserere mei. Intellectum da mihi et vivam. 
Gressus meos dirige secundum eloquium tuum. Cla- 
mavi ad te; salvum me fac, ut custodiam mandata tua. 
Vide humilitatem meam, et eripe me. Intret postu- 
latio mea in conspectu tuo. Tuus sum ego, salvum me 
fac. Fiat manus tua ut salvet me." 

As regards other passages which are obscure, I do not 
say that there is an obligation of studying interpreters; 
but at the same time I say that such a study would be 
certainly one of the best and most useful to which a 
priest could apply himself, as the Council of Milan ad 
vises. 1 For this purpose it would be well to read Car 
dinal Bellarmine on the psalms. 

The petitions most pleasing to God are those which 
are contained in the Pater noster, which is the most ex 
cellent of all prayers, taught us from the mouth of 
Jesus Christ himself; and therefore does the Church re 
quire us to repeat it so often in the divine Office. How 
especially beautiful are the three first petitions! three 
most perfect acts of love! Sanctificetur nomen tuum: 
Adveniat regnum tmtm : Fiat voluntas tua sicut in ccelo et in 
terra! In the first, Sanctificetur nomen tuum, we beg that 

" Interpretationem studio assequatur, unde mens animusque ad 
aliquem salutarem affectum incendatur." Anno 1579, Constit. p. 3, 
n. 6, 

464 The Divine Office hurriedly said. 

God would make himself known and loved by all man 
kind. In the second, Adveniat regnum tuum, we beg of 
him to take entire possession of our hearts, that he 
may reign in them by his grace in this life, and by his 
glory in the next. In the third, Fiat volnntas tua, etc., we 
ask of him the gift of perfect conformity; so that we 
may do his will on earth as the blessed do in heaven. 1 
In repeating so frequently the Gloria Patri, how many 
devout acts of faith may we make, of praise, of thanks 
giving, of delight in the happiness and perfections of 
God! St. Mary Magdalene of Pazzi, whenever she re 
peated the Gloria Patri, bowing her head imagined to 
herself that she was offering it to the executioner in 
honor of the faith. 

Moreover, the Church requires us at the beginning of 
all the Hours of the Office to salute and have recourse 
to Mary the Mother of God; by means of whom we may 
obtain so many graces, she being the treasurer and dis 
penser of all the divine graces. 

Let us conclude. Many priests think and speak of 
the obligation of saying Office as of a great burden; 
and I say, that those that say it negligently without 
devotion, and endeavor to get through it as quickly 
as possible, have great reason so to speak of it; be 
cause they have to labor, for at least an hour, to re 
cite it, and that without any relish, but with much irk- 
someness. But to those that say it with devotion, en 
tering w r ith their minds into the many devout sentiments 
that are expressed in it, and accompanying with their 
hearts the holy affections that it pours forth to God, the 
Office is not a load, but a relief and delight to the soul, 
as all good priests find it; and if it must ever be called 
a load, it is a winged load, which elevates us and unites 
us with God. 

1 See page 58 fora full explanation of the Pater noster. 



ABSTEMIOUS, the; without the permission of the Pope they cannot, at 

the first ablution, use water instead of wine, 176. 
ATTENTION which one should have in celebrating, 425; and in reciting 

the Office, 449, 452. 
ALTAR, fixed or portable, requisite conditions, 211. Privileged altars, 


ANTIPEXDIUM of the altar, what it should be, 212. 
ALTAR-CLOTHS, qualities requisite, 212. 
ALTAR-BREAD, see Host. 


KURSE for the corporal, use and qualities, 84, 216. 

BISHOPS, their obligation and their power in regard to the celebration 

of Mass in their dioceses, 434. 
BLOOD, PRECIOUS, proper for consecration, 221; accidents that may 

afterwards occur, 229. 

CALOTTE, see Skull-cap. 

CHALICE, material and conditions required, 215. 

CANON of the Mass, explanation, 48. 

CIBORIUM, manner of purifying it, 187. 

CANDLES requisite for Mass, 213; for consecration, 154. 

COLLECT, see Prayer. 

COMMUNION, part of the Mass, explanation, 64. Manner of giving 
Communion during Mass, 183; outside of Mass, 189, 233; at 
Masses for the dead, 187. Accidents that may happen, 231. 

CONSECRATION, notice of the Missal, 211; matter required, 218; form, 
53, 157. 222; intention of the celebram, 222. 

466 Index. 

CORPORAL, qualities requisite, 84, 202, 216, 441; manner of folding and 
of unfolding it, 97, and of putting it into the burse, 176. 

CREDO, explanation, 44; at which Masses it should be said, 128. 

CROSS of the altar, 213. 

CHRISTMAS, what is to be observed when one says several Masses, 133. 
177, 225, 234. 

CRUETS, those of glass are preferable, 214. 

CHURCH or chapel in which one may celebrate, 232; the case in which 
it is profaned, 227. 


DISTRACTIONS during the celebration, when a mortal sin, 426, Distrac 
tion in the recitation of the Office, 456. 

FAST required by the celebrant, 225. 

FORM of the Sacrament, see Consecration. 

FRUIT of the Mass, its value and application, 238, 252. See Intention. 

GENUFLECTION at the altar, how it should be done, 156, 204. 
GLORIA IN EXCELSIS, explanation, 42; when it should be said, 112. 
GOAT, EMISSARY, figure of the Sacrifice of Jesus Christ, 27. 
GOSPEL of the Mass, explanation, 43. 


HANDS, obligation of washing them before Mass, 83; manner of hold 
ing them joined before the breast, 101, or on the altar, 108, 162, 
208; extended before the breast, 116, 157; how one should place 
them when kissing the altar or when making a genuflection, 109, 
157, 203; and when one hand is employed, how one should hold 
the other, 103, 193. 

HONORARIUM of Masses, its origin, 238, 251; abuses to which it gave 
rise and the rules established, 240; means devised to abolish it, 
245, 260. Contracts made in regard to the Honorarium, 257 

HOST, matter and form required, 218. Use of unleavened and of leav 
ened bread, 250. Accidents that may happen, 218, 222, 229, 231. 
The Hosts preserved in the tabernacle should frequently be re 
newed, 187. 

Index. 467 


INCLINATION, or reverences; there are three kinds, the third of which is 
also subdivided into three kinds, 93; when and how one should 
make it at the name of a saint, 117; cases in which one should 
make the inclination, the profound, the moderate, and the simple, 

INDULGENCES, prayers before and after Mass, 279, 286. Privileged 
altars, 262. 

INTENTION for the application of the fruit of the Mass, formulas, 148, 
305 ; for the Consecration, 222. 

JESUS CHRIST, prefigured in the ancient sacrifices, 27; his real sacrifice 

on the cross and on the altar, 28, 31. 


MATINS and LAUDS, obligation of reciting them before Mass, Sr. 

MEMENTO of the living and of the dead, explanation, 49, 56; different 
ways of making it, 148. 

MASS, same sacrifice as that of the cross, the fruit of which applies 
to us, 35, 420; its importance, 291, 339, 417. Explanation of 
the prayers, 38, and of the ceremonies, 77; faults committed in 
celebrating Mass, 201, 426; what is omitted in Masses of the dead, 
192; Mass celebrated when the Blessed Sacrament is exposed, 195; 
before a bishop, 198; in ecclesia aliena, 234; what is to be observed 
if one says several Masses, 133, 177, 225; the mutilation of the 
divine sacrifice, 228; the time and place in which one can celebrate, 
228, 232; the server, 236; the Honorarium, 238; application of the 
fruit, 239, 251. The Mass celebrated with but little respect and 
devotion, 294, 339, 425. The time one should employ in saying 
Mass, 435, 438. The disposition of the celebrant, 211, 222, 228,421 
(see PREPARATION and TIIAXKSCIVINV,); of those that abstain from 
saying Mass through humility, 301, 444; public Masses with 
offerings, 238, 2f>o; private Masses are allowed and are of an 
ancient custom, 248. 


OFFERTORY, explanation, 44. 

OFFICE, DIVINE, its importance, and necessity of reciting it well, 446; 
lights and graces drawn from the Office that is well recited, 452. 

468 Index. 

OFFERINGS at the public Masses, ancient custom, 238, 260. 

ORDERS, SACRED, unworthy subjects should be excluded therefrom, 261. 

PALL, qualities requisite, 84, 216. 

PATEN, qualities requisite, 215. 

PATER NOSTER, explanation, 58, 463. 

PRECIPITATION in celebrating Mass is a great fault, 201, 204. 

PREFACE, explanation, 47; which one should be said, 143. 

PREPARATION for Mass and for Communion, how it should be made, 

8 1 , 201, 299, 417. Prayers of the Missal, 267; indulgenced prayers, 

279; considerations and affections for every day of the week, 347; 

acts before Communion, 364; loving aspirations, 374; devout 

aspirations, 396. 

PRONUNCIATION of words at the altar, 103, 107, 156, 201, 426. 
PURIFICATOR, qualities requisite, 216; it must be clean, 202. 


RUBRICS of the Mass; they are binding under pain of sin, 104, 427- cne 
should know well what they prescribe, 201. 

SACRIFICE of the Old Law, four kinds, 27; five conditions required, 28; 

the sacrifice of Jesus Christ fulfilled these conditions and realized 

the figures, 28, 31. See Mass. 
SACRAMENT, BLESSED, miracle that confirms its truth, 68. Aspirations 

for a visit. 374, 397. 

SCANDAL which a priest causes by celebrating Mass badly, 430. 
SERVER of the Mass, necessity and quality, 236. 
SIGNS of the cross with the hand or with the thumb, manner of making 

them, 102, 126, 139, 152, 193, 203, 205. 
SKULL-CAP, permission required to wear it at the altar, 96. 
SPECTACLES, whether they should be taken off when one turns to the 

people, 115. 
SPOON, the use of it is permitted to put a little water into the chalice, 83. 

THANKSGIVING, part of the Mass, explanation, 65; required after Mass, 
202, 300,441; obligatory prayers, 182, 281; indulgenced prayers, 
286; affection for every day of the week, 322, 356; acts after Com- 

Index. 469 

munion, 369; loving aspirations, 382, 392; devout aspirations, 397; 
various prayers, 324, 404. 

VESTMENTS, priestly, qualities required, 216; color, 217; cleanliness, 84, 

202, 441; their mystical signification, 90. 
VEIL of the chalice, qualities requisite, 84, 216. 
VISIT to the Blessed Sacrament, 374, 397. 
VOICE, obligation of varying the tone as the Rubric indicates, 103. 

WINE proper for consecration, 220. See PRECIOUS BLOOD. 





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